Katherine Maher, the former executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, has been announced as the new executive president of the Web Summit. The Web Summit is a prominent technology conference that connects people and ideas from around the world. Maher, who led the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organisation behind Wikipedia, for five years, is credited with bringing significant success to the Wikimedia movement and reinforcing Wikipedia’s reputation as a reliable source of free knowledge on a global scale.
In addition to Maher’s appointment, Damian Kimmelman has been named a non-executive director of the Web Summit. Kimmelman has co-founded multiple companies and organisations in the United States and Europe, including the startup Batelle and the non-profit FoundersPledge.com.
Katherine Maher expressed her excitement about participating in the Web Summit, emphasising the mission of connecting people and ideas that have the potential to change the world. The event is scheduled to take place in Lisbon from November 13th to 16th, with expectations of 2,600 startups and approximately 70,000 participants.
The leadership change at the Web Summit comes after the resignation of Paddy Cosgrave from his position. This decision followed the withdrawal of several companies from the event in response to controversial statements made by Cosgrave about Israel.