Wikimedia Foundation

  wikimediafoundation.org
  wikimediafoundation.org

Wikimedia Foundation Reviews

Updated September 28, 2014
Updated September 28, 2014
30 Reviews
3.2
30 Reviews
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Sue Gardner
18 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great work with people who are striving for the mission.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Wikimedia Foundation full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The foundation respects and appreciates every member of the staff, every manager I've worked with has listened and responded to feedback and almost every member of staff is trying their best to do what is best for the mission.

    Cons

    We are still growing, the organization is in flux and not completely sure what direction it wants to go in yet. The massive influx of new staff has led to a lot of people who want to do what is best but have no understanding of the culture of the movement and the community and do not understand the desire for careful progress.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great Mission, Poor Management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Wikimedia Foundation full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The Wikipedia community is comprised of such wonderful people. It's an honor to work for them. At the Foundation, employees focus on such high and noble ideals. It's accelerating and contagious: the brand, the intelligence, and the mission are the top three things that will attract any individual to working for this company.

    Cons

    Cons in a nutshell? Great ideas but poor execution. I found the management team lacking and often felt the Foundation had to constantly hit the reset button. Management focused less on merit but more on popularity. It was all a bit dysfunctional (and slightly abusive mentally). It was not the flat organization they claimed to be. An organized, results-driven person will find themselves completely frustrated in no time at all.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire good people and then allow them to do their job. Promote people based on skill and merit and not on how well they get along with the Executive Director (or Senior Management).

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great mission... but poor management.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Wikimedia Foundation full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The projects you get to work on are really interesting, and make a lot of difference for people around the world.

    Compensation is pretty good by most standards, but definitely lower than other similar organizations in San Francisco, which is fairly understandable given the non-profit nature of the company.

    Working for the Wikimedia Foundation looks great on your resume, and opens a lot of doors.

    Cons

    The management are extremely incompetent. Most of the accomplishments at the WMF are accomplished in spite of the management, rather than because of it. Managers do not safeguard the time of their employees very well, so frequently their employees are dragged into time-wasting meetings rather than just getting stuff done. It's not unheard of for employees to have irrelevant meetings back-to-back from 9am until 6pm for days on end, only to be chastized by their managers for not spending their "spare time" time developing their skills. If you're not willing to stand up to those that waste your time, even if they're way above you in the power structure of the organization, you won't do well at the WMF.

    On the other hand, the administrative side of the organization are somewhat heartless. Because the WMF is a non-profit, they take a lot of opportunities to skimp on costs, and it can often put employees out financially when things go wrong. They do not take much of an interest in the issues faced by the employees, instead deferring to each employee's (incompetent) line manager.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Leave. I have suffered because of the senior management, but what's sad is that I've seen people suffer far worse than I have, basically having to juggle six projects at once all on their own while their manager attempts to micromanage their decisions rather than helping them achieve their goals.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Terrible management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Wikimedia Foundation full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Mission driven organization, good work-life balance, small organization

    Cons

    Terrible management, the top brass is clueless. Example they spent millions of dollars setting up offices in India, Brazil and paying hundreds of dollars to staff in these countries, hiring consultants who first came up with this flawed strategy and shutting down those programs after big fiascos.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hope new ED will hold her direct reports accountable for their actions. There has been no accountability in the past. The last ED dealt with staff that challenged her bad decisions by firing everyone.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great org, has the same problems as any growing mission focused non profit

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Wikimedia Foundation full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great org and coworkers. Smart, dedicated, and helpful. Also is open to remote working.

    Cons

    It is easy for a mission focused org to loss some of it's values over the years as new people/roles are added. WMF needs to watch out for this.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take heed to the historic place that the WMF has held and mold your new Director and VP and ED level individuals to fit that mold; don't give them leeway or your most experienced employees will leave. I've seen it happen at very similar organizations (mission driven non-profits in the bay area).

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    great non-profit

    Former Employee - Intern in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Intern in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Wikimedia Foundation part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    great people, open environment, fun happy hours

    Cons

    people tend to hang out in their own "groups"

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    more community building among employees?

  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great team

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Product Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Product Manager in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Wikimedia Foundation full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    lots of energy, lots of passion, great people, good mission, great offices, lots of growth. Overall, I was very happy with the organization.

    Cons

    sometimes, lack of focus, and often times the community got very political. Managing by consensus doesn't always create the best products and innovation.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    It's the Wikimedia Foundation...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Wikimedia Foundation full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Amazing value driven culture, work with some incredibly intelligent and driven people

    Cons

    Tends to lack focus; coordination between departments not awesome. Wandering focus hurts morale; hopefully new narrow focus actually stays

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Though open culture is important, C level people publicly disagreeing is problematic. So is massive turnover.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Dysfunctional

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Wikimedia Foundation

    Pros

    It's for a good cause and looks good on the resume.

    Cons

    Management is clueless. I was glad to hear that the current executive director is stepping down. Hopefully, slowly WMF will be able to recover from the damage that she and her cronies did to Wikipedia and its culture.

  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Fast growth creates confusion.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Accounting Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Accounting Manager in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Wikimedia Foundation full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great to be involved with an organization that has a large presence in the information / internet arena. Fun to work around intelligent and motivate co-workers. Fantastic ability to raise fund for the cause. Great benefits

    Cons

    Letting everyone have a say in decisions - large and small - slow progress. Although core organization's mission is providing information quickly, change is slow and not always welcomed in the organization. Management lacks the experience to take the organization beyond the "start-up" stage. When mistakes are made, money is thrown at to cover up and fix the mistakes.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management needs to continue to grow their own ability to grow and change. Management needs to realize when they don't have the necessary leadership experience and bring in the right experience - even if it means realigning management.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

Wikimedia Foundation Photos

Wikimedia Foundation offices, CC BY SA Victor Grigas
Wikimedia Foundation lobby, CC BY SA Victor Grigas
Wikimedia Foundation Wikipedia blackout, CC BY SA Gayle Young

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