Wikimedia Hires Danese Cooper as New CTO

by Ostatic Staff - Feb. 03, 2010

Cnet's Stephen Shankland reports that the Wikimedia Foundation has hired open source advocate Danese Cooper as its Chief Technical Officer. She'll oversee the foundation's technical strategy and tech team, including the Wikipedia. The move makes Cooper the only female CTO in the top ten Web sites.

Cooper credits the open source communty as a whole for helping her secure her new job. "I've been working for so long on awareness of the gender imbalance in Open Source, but I've always thought of my own career as a collaborative effort (as in, 'It takes a village'). In fact, when I was interviewing at Wikimedia Foundation and described my approach to solving technical challenges, I said something like 'I rely on taking in as many well-informed opinions as I can find, digesting them collectively, and reaching an essentially collaborative conclusion.'"

A former employee of Intel, Sun Mircosystems, and REvolution Computing, Cooper also serves on the board of the Open Source Initiative and is a member of the Apache Software Foundation. "As a long-time Wikipedia enthusiast and supporter of Open Knowledge worldwide, I'm thrilled by the opportunity to invest directly in the evolution of the Wikimedia Foundation, " she says. "I'm joining a great team, both at the Foundation itself and in the communities it supports, and the challenge is both exciting and daunting. I can't wait to get started!"

“Danese has the perfect mix of open source commitment and managerial experience, and her background as an evangelist is particularly important to the Wikimedia Foundation. In order to continue successfully serving hundreds of millions of readers in hundreds of countries and languages, Wikimedia depends on an active community of volunteers to develop and localize the software. I'm counting on Danese to grow and develop that network,” Wikimedia Executive Director Sue Gardner said in a statement.