Jimbo Wales’ Spending Habits Have Been Questioned

John H. Gohde says that the more he reads about Jimbo Wales in the tabloid press, the funnier it gets.

John H. Gohde Reports

Danny Wool on his blog publicly accused Jimbo Wales of spending improprieties on Saturday, March 1, 2008. according to John H. Gohde

John H. Gohde asks who is Danny Wales? Danny, the former Grants Coordinator, is reported to have worked for the Wikimedia Foundation from October 2005 to March 2007 at a paid salary of $40,000 a year. John says Wool supposedly arranged Jimbo’s travel schedule and negotiated his speaking fees.

John H. Gohde says Think Again

Wikipedian editors work for free and are asked each year to cough up money in order to support Wikipedia. Undoubtedly most editors are thinking that their hard earned financial contributions would be going to pay for hardware and bandwidth. Mr. Gohde tells them to think again.

John H. Gohde advises Wikipedia that it is time to get real. In John’s opinion, far too many not-for-profit operations exist for the benefit of their employees of the respective organization. This is especially true for the upper level employees. Mr. Gohde says that the grunts working at Wikipedia for free should be thinking about the lifestyles of the rich and famous. And, of their Jimbo who fancies himself a rock star. What the rich demand as being appropriate and expected, most poor folk would consider as being extravagant, even if allowed by law.

John H. Gohde reminds you that the devil is always in the details.

The Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation has a paid staff and seven board members.

Jimbo is both the Chairman Emeritus and a board member. The Foundation also has an Executive Director (Sue Gardner), a Chief Operating Officer (formerly Carolyn Doran, who previously had her own scandal in the press), and a Director of Communications (Jay Walsh). John H. Gohde points out that they obviously also have to pay both for accounting and auditing services, one way or the other.

The undisputed facts can be found in the Wikimedia Foundation’s audited 2007 financial statements. Total Support And Revenue collected amounted to $2,734,909 which most of us would loosely call the total donations received. While Internet hosting amounted to $389,417, there was a whopping $264,361 spent on reimbursed travel expenses, and an even more staggering expenditure of $415,006 for salaries and wages. Sadly John H. Gohde points out that what the rich and famous often claim to be a necessary travel expense, would be considered partying at somebody else’s’ expense by most people. At $264,361 the Foundation is obviously paying for the travel of their board members, for Wikimania, and for Board meetings.

What John H. Gohde finds even more laughable is that total expenses went up 262% from fiscal year 2006, or to precisely $2,077,843 from $791,907. John asks: How can Jimbo justify such an increase? More money to burn up, perhaps?

John H Gohde Wants to Know

John H. Gohde would like to know if all you Wikipedia contributors out there are paying Jimbo Wales over $100,000 a year to run the Wikimedia Foundation? If so, for heaven’s sake why?

John H. Gohde reasons that if Wales actually is a paid employee of the Wikimedia Foundation, then isn’t that like a refund of his original donation, plus interest?

John H. Gohde reminds all the unpaid Wikipedian fools slaving away at editing their life away that most not-for-profits exists to spend other people’s money, namely yours. At this point in time, does Wikipedia really need to be promoted by international travel? Cannot one in the new millennia make use of the Internet at almost no cost?

John H. Gohde says that with two million dollars a year to burn up on expenses, John would do a lot of traveling too. Let me see now, If John could dream up an excuse to promote Wikipedia in the Caribbean, Mr. Gohde would legally be able to claim that spending $30,000 of Wikipedian money to be both justified and appropriate. 🙂

Jimbo’s Feau Paux

Between Wool’s statement and the response of the Wikimedia Executive Director: Wales asked the Foundation to reimburse him for a dinner for four at a Tampa, Florida steakhouse. That dinner included a $650 tab for two bottles of wine. The total bill amounted to $1,300. But, the Foundation bravely refused to reimburse Wales.

John H. Gohde asks any government employee: What would happen to you if you ever tried to submit items for reimbursement, that were not allowed? Is it the responsibility of the Accounting Department to catch your attempted embezzlement of taxpayer’s money? Wouldn’t your career be put in jeopardy, especially if it ever came to the attention of the press?

Published in: on March 10, 2008 at 1:29 pm  Comments (2)  


  1. The way I see it, all the moneys collected in fiscal year 2007 should have been able to have made the operation of Wikipedia self-supporting; had it not been for the absolutely huge increase in expenses.

  2. Jimbo Wales’ Spending Habits Have Been Questioned

    Danny Wool on his blog publicly accused Jimbo Wales of spending improprieties on Saturday, March 1, 2008. according to John H. Gohde

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