The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees has moved forward with a step in restructuring the organization by reorganizing itself. Following a planning retreat in Frankfurt, Jimmy Wales stepped down as Chair of the board, and Florence Nibart-Devouard was chosen to replace him.
The board met with representatives of local chapters and a few others from October 20 to October 22. After the retreat, Wales nominated Devouard to take his place as Chair, and the board unanimously approved her for that position. The remaining official roles on the board were also filled at this time, with Tim Shell chosen as Vice-Chair, Erik Möller as Executive Secretary, and Michael E. Davis as Treasurer.
Devouard was elected to the Board as a member representative in 2004 and holds one of the two board seats elected by the Wikimedia community, along with Möller. She has been a strong supporter of the multilingual nature of the Wikimedia projects.
Wales, meanwhile, will continue to serve on the board and assume the honorary title of Chairman Emeritus. He will remain active in Wikimedia projects, but chose to pass on the responsibility of heading the board, due in part to his commitments to outside projects.
This action is part of an ongoing reorganization of the Wikimedia Foundation, which effectively began with the hiring of Brad Patrick earlier this year as legal counsel and Executive Director (see archived story). Patrick is filling the latter position only on an interim basis, and the Wikimedia Foundation plans to start a formal search process for a permanent Executive Director.