Tretikov officially takes over from outgoing CEO, Sue Gardner, on 1 June and will be responsible for setting strategy and managing operations at the non-profit organisation.
“When I got the news, I thought, ‘This is big in every way: A big website — the fifth most popular in the world. A big community — 80,000 active Wikimedians from around the globe. And a big mission — nothing less than making the sum of all human knowledge freely available to all,’” said Tretikov. “When I thought about why I wanted to take on a challenge this big, the answer was clear: Becoming a Wikimedian is an opportunity to be part of something bigger than ourselves.”
Tretikov studied at Lomonosov Moscow State University and the University of California, Berkeley and worked on open source projects at Sun Microsystems and designed software to provide free visualisation of the newly mapped Human Genome as part of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory research before moving to SugarCRM.
“Running the Wikimedia Foundation is a unique role that requires an unusual mix of skills and capabilities, and I think Lila has exactly what we need,” said Sue Gardner. “The Wikimedia Foundation needs a leader who is open and flexible and consultative, but who also knows when to stand firm and be brave, particularly against efforts to censor Wikipedia or intimidate Wikipedians. I believe Lila will be flexible where possible, but firm when necessary.”