Onboarding of two new Senior Executives in line with the launch of the WordPress Governance Project
WordPress CEO and co-founder Matt Mullenweg recently announced Josepha Haden as new Executive Director and Joost de Valk as Marketing and Communications lead. Matt said that these roles will help him lead the WordPress project more effectively.
One of Josepha Haden’s responsibilities is overseeing the WordPress contributors while Joost de Valk is going to manage the marketing team. Aside from managing the marketing side, de Valk will oversee improvements in WordPress.org and other sites.
As WordPress is an Open Source Project with active contributors, Josepha will be directing, managing and streamlining the conversations and contributions which is scattered around different channels and mediums.
In a post, Josepha has outlined the strengths and struggles faced by WordPress contributors. Major challenges outlined were:
- Coordinating on collaborative work between teams;
- aligning our work better to project goals/values;
- understanding team roles, leadership structures, and decision making;
- clarifying the differences between open source and open commit;
- tracking conversations and progress across the project;
- raising project-wide concerns more easily;
- and, improving how we recognize and celebrate success.
Haden has also requested feedback from the WordPress community. She urged contributors to raise their issues and concerns as well as suggestions by commenting on her post.
WordPress Governance Project
The onboarding of two senior leaders is also seen as part of the WordPress Governance Project which aims to bring transparent and accountable governance structures to the WordPress project.
As stated in the WordPress Blog, “The project will provide a model for policy making, decision making, oversight, and accountability within the WordPress project. This may include solidifying existing governance structures in teams, introducing new governance structures for parts of or the entire project, and/or creating new governance roles and responsibilities.”
It is also seen as a result of the many issues revolving around the release of Gutenberg, a new editor that came with WordPress 5.0. Major concerns include the decision-making process, lack of communication as well as technical problems with many contributors raising concerns on the abrupt changes in the WordPress builder. Issues raised by the open source community also include the shift of programming language used in WordPress from PHP to React.
Amidst these issues, Automattic launched the governance project to create the structures for the WordPress contributors and users to also be involved in the decision-making process.
The first stage of the project focuses on WordPress and its communities while the second stage will be about the role of WordPress in the open source community and the Web in general.