Nearly 200 Wikipedia editors have taken an unheard of move and have called for a new member of the Wikimedia Foundation board of directors to be tossed out, by publicly backing a vote of no confidence in the new trustee.
With so many Wikipedia editors disgruntled at the apparent lack of foresight of the board, one editor claimed to be “appalled” by Arnon Geshuri’s appointment to the Wikimedia Foundation board of trustees this month. Another editor also called Wikipedia’s founder Jimmy Whales judgement into question.
Geshuri’s appointment has provoked a storm of righteous indignation from the Wikipedia community of volunteer editors.
As news of the appointment spread last week, an editor called for, and got a vote of no confidence in the former Google head of Human Relations.
The Wikimedia Foundation is the governing body of the massive Wikipedia online encyclopedia and related projects.
The no confidence call was accompanied by a statement, which indicated that an open letter had already been sent to the chairman of Wikimedia’s board, but at the time of writing, had received no official response by either Whales, or Geshuri, a silence which has further angered the already irate band of editors.
The online encyclopedia’s editors have objected mainly due to Geshuri’s alleged involvement in a high level no poaching deal amongst technologies big hitters, back in 2007.
As part of the anti-poaching talent deal, companies agreed not to “cold call” each other’s’ workers with a view to not enticing employees to jump ship to another company.
In 2010, the Department of Justice said the companies involved, namely Google, Apple, Adobe, Intuit, Intel, and Pixar clearly violated antitrust law.
The involved companies reached a settlement with the government in which they agreed to avoid such deals in the future, but crucially none of them admitted guilt or were forced to pay any financial penalty. Instead, a class-action suit brought on behalf of affected employees resulted in a multimillion payout deal.
The Wikipedia editors statement highlights the fact that Geshuri had been “widely known for having played a significant role in the anticompetitive agreements scandal at Google”.
One editor unhappy about the appointment wrote: “I’m appalled: Why this kind of person, with this kind of background, at all?”