Wikipedia editors’ revolt causes board member to step down

Credit: chrisdorney /

Wikimedia’s newest board member, Arnon Geshuri, has been forced to step down after nearly 300 of the site’s editors signed a “vote of no confidence” requesting that he be removed.

The announcement was made today via an email from Wikimedia’s current board Chair Patricio Lorente and Vice-chair Alice Wiegand.

Geshuri, who currently heads up HR at Tesla Motors, and worked at Google from 2004 to 2009 and this is where the editors saw an issue. Google, along with Pixar, Apple, Adobe, Intel and several other large tech companies were privy to a high-profile “no poach” agreement, which meant they agreed not to cold call each others’ staff.

The agreement was deemed to be in violation of antitrust laws by the Department of Justice in 2010 but a settlement was reached and no company had to pay a fine or admit any guilt.

Following a later trial brought by affected employees, emails between Geshuri, Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt that discussed Google’s poaching of an Apple employee were made public.

While Geshuri apologized for what had happened, there were some controversial discussions, one of which involved another Google HR employee encouraging Geshuri to make an example of the person who was about to be terminated.

Wikimedia’s editors viewed this as cause for concern about Geshuri’s integrity and voted 290-22 in favor of Geshuri’s removal.

His resignation comes just one day after he responded to the editors’ vote, saying he had taken note of their concerns but still believed there were “some misconceptions and there are mitigating considerations.”

➤ Changes in the Board [Wikimedia via BBC]

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