Lila Tretikov

Lila Tretikov

Tretikov in 2014
Native name Ляля Третьякова
Born Lyalya Tretyakova
(1978-01-25) January 25, 1978
Moscow, USSR
Nationality Russian
Occupation Former executive director of Wikimedia Foundation
Tretikov's voice
recorded September 2014

Lila Tretikov (English: /ˈlaɪ̯lə ˈtrɛtɪkɔf/), born Olga (Lyalya[1]) Tretyakova (Russian: Ольга (Ляля) Третьяко́ва; January 25, 1978[2] in Moscow[3][4]) is a Russian–American engineer and manager, who was executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation from 2014 to 2016. Born in Moscow, she emigrated to the United States as a teenager and in 1999 began working as a software engineer in California, where she co-authored several software patents and also founded a technology marketing company. A specialist in enterprise software, she was chief information officer and vice president of engineering at SugarCRM Inc. before succeeding Sue Gardner at the Wikimedia Foundation in 2014. On February 25, 2016, Tretikov tendered her resignation, effective March 31,[5] as a result of the WMF's handling of the Knowledge Engine project.[6][7]

Early life and education

Tretikov is of Russian and Swedish heritage. Her father is a mathematician and her mother was a filmmaker.[8] After moving to New York City at age 15,[9] she learned English while waitressing and attended the University of California, Berkeley, but left before completing her degree.[10] Her majors were computer science and art, and she researched machine learning.[10]

Tretikov introduced to WMF employees.


In 1999, Tretikov started her professional career at Sun Microsystems, as an engineer at the Sun-Netscape Alliance, where she worked on the Java server. She then founded GrokDigital, a technology marketing company, and was later appointed chief information officer and vice president of engineering at SugarCRM Inc.[11]

In 2012, she was a Stevie Awards bronze winner in the category for Female Executive of the YearBusiness Services11 to 2,500 EmployeesComputer Hardware & Software.[12] She has co-authored several patents in intelligent data mapping and dynamic language applications.[13][14]

Tretikov was appointed executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation in May 2014 in succession to Sue Gardner,[15][16] and took up the post on June 1, 2014. She had edited Wikipedia only once before her appointment.[13][17]

Tretikov is also on the boards of OpenEd[18] and Rackspace[19] and is an advisor to the board of Zamurai Corporation.

Tretikov resigned from the Wikimedia Foundation, as a result of the WMF's controversial Knowledge Engine project and disagreements with the staff,[6][7] with her last day being March 31, 2016[5] (succeeded by Katherine Maher in June 2016). On March 16, 2016, it was announced that Tretikov had been invited by the World Economic Forum to join its "Young Global Leaders" community.[20]


  1. Note: "Lyalya" is a Russian-language diminutive from the first name "Olga".
  2. Wikimedia Monthly Metrics and Analytics Meeting, May 2014
  3. "CrunchBase". CrunchBase. Retrieved 2014-05-10.
  4. Wikimedia is headed by an American of Russian origin. RIA Novosti
  5. 1 2 "Thank you for our time together.". Lila Tretikov. 25 February 2016.
  6. 1 2 Hern, Alex (February 26, 2016). "Head of Wikimedia resigns over search engine plans". The Guardian.
  7. 1 2 "Online-Enzyklopädie: Chefin der Wikipedia-Stiftung tritt zurück". Spiegel Online. February 26, 2016.
  8. "Women band together, make inroads into tech" by Jon Swartz, USA Today, 27 November 2012.
  9. "Wikipedia 15: Lightning Talk Session". YouTube. 2016-01-16. Retrieved 2016-03-30.
  10. 1 2 Seligman, Katherine (May 9, 2014). "The Woman To Run Wikipedia: Russian-born Former Cal Student Seen as "White Unicorn"". California Magazine. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
  11. Executive Profile: Lila Tretikov Bloomberg Businessweek, 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2014. Archived here.
  12. "Stevie Awards For Women in Business: 2012 Stevie Award Winners". Fairfax, VA: Stevie Awards, Inc. Retrieved 2014-05-01.
  13. 1 2 Kiss, Jemima; Gibbs, Samuel. "Wikipedia boss Lila Tretikov: 'Glasnost taught me much about freedom of information'". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
  14. "Patent Search". United States Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  15. Elder, Jeff. "Wikipedia's New Chief: From Soviet Union to World's Sixth-Largest Site". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  16. Cohen, Noam. "Open-Source Software Specialist Selected as Executive Director of Wikipedia". New York Times. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  17. Seligman, Katherine (2014-05-13). "The Woman To Run Wikipedia: Russian-born Former Cal Student Seen as 'White Unicorn'". California Magazine (UC Berkeley). Retrieved 2014-10-12.
  18. Hart, Michael (August 25, 2014). "Wikimedia Foundation Director Named to OpenEd Board". THE Journal.
  19. "Rackspace Appoints Lila Tretikov to Board of Directors". Digital Journal. September 22, 2014.
  20. "Meet the Young, Tech-Savvy, Civic-Minded Innovators Driving The Fourth Industrial Revolution - Press releases | World Economic Forum". Retrieved 2016-03-30.
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