Wikimedia Foundation

  wikimediafoundation.org
  wikimediafoundation.org

Wikimedia Foundation Reviews

Updated September 28, 2014
Updated September 28, 2014
30 Reviews
3.2
30 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Sue Gardner
18 Ratings

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Mostly positive, with some cultural difficulties due to growth.

    • 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 3 years)

    Pros

    Work in an innovative NGO with global impact.

    Cons

    Political culture hard to navigate.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The political commitment to free knowledge matters more than product design.

    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
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  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.  

    Fast Paced, closed 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

    Pros

    Room for growth and progression, great co-workers

    Cons

    Management are a closed coup, and disconnected from the community.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 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
  8.  

    Consultant

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

    I worked at Wikimedia Foundation as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    Good environment, room to create and develop new projects, very reasonable salary

    Cons

    Priorities change often, very complex governance, learning and growing organization

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  9. 5 people found this helpful  

    Amazing mission; incredibly smart employees; completely inept management

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

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

    Pros

    There's so many great engineers at Wikimedia. The problems are hard and fun. There's a big open source culture here. Lots of great travel with opportunity to engage with really amazing community members. Everyone loves Wikipedia, which makes it really easy to network through lots of open source communities. It's possible to come up with ideas and fully implement them, assuming you're willing to fight management for it.

    I would still recommend Wikimedia to a friend, while giving them a warning about what to expect. It's hard not to want great people working at Wikimedia. I hope that friends can help turn that ship around.

    Culture at Wikimedia is difficult to describe. It's amazing if you consider the mission and the culture around that. I wanted to give Wikimedia 5 stars just for that reason. Meeting the community, going to Wikimania and to the countless global engineering events is incredibly rewarding.

    Cons

    Management at basically every level of the foundation is terrible. Senior management is so inept that the board should really do something about it. Unfortunately the board is also mostly checked out. The community is heavily negative and completely averse to change, though that may be poor execution of feature launches from the foundation.

    You could be curing cancer at Wikimedia and 99% of what you'd hear is why you're an idiot. The rest of the time you'd have 2-3 people saying that your cure isn't good, then they'd all be working on re-implementing your work. and eventually arrive at the same exact solution. You'd get maybe 1-2 compliments. Management would just sit back and watch it occur while the cure took 10 times longer than it would have if they would have facilitated collaboration.

    Senior management very often hires incompetent middle managers knowingly against the wishes of the team that manager is going to manage. This is what a large percentage of Wikimedia's turnover is related to. Any reasonable senior management would see this and fire the person hiring the idiots, but it's unfortunately the same people.

    Office culture at Wikimedia is absolutely terrible. There's a massive failure in upper management at this level. Almost everything that was once offered in the office is gone because they were "too expensive", all while the upper management has at least three incredibly expensive off-site retreats a year. There's lots of backstabbing, office gossip, political infighting with coworkers trying to get each other fired, and lots of cross-department feuds. It's rare that anyone's work is celebrated and managers often take credit for their employees' work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please leave. Basically all of you have been around for too long and have driven away countless talented employees. Sue helped the organization grow to a reasonable size and got the foundation through its necessary fundraising growth, but she's also been a relatively absentee ED when it comes to Wikimedia Foundation's primary function, which is engineering. She's let Erik run that ship into the ground for years.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 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
  11.  

    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?

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

+ Add Photo

Work at Wikimedia Foundation? Share Your Experiences

Wikimedia Foundation

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.