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In May, I posted a job for a VP of Community because we decided that adding that role appropriately reflected the importance we place on community and the Community Team’s role as a voice for our global community.

We conducted an in-depth search and had a number of extremely qualified candidates, both internally and externally. In the end, I am pleased to announce that we selected one of our own - Philippe Beaudette, whom we introduced to you in March. Philippe brings a wealth of experience - he was working at AOL on community building 25 years ago, and since then has served several top tier websites, including:

  • Wikimedia Foundation, which supports Wikipedia, where he spent seven years in a progression of roles, including as Director of Legal and Community Advocacy,

  • Reddit (as Director of Community),

  • Fandom (Sr. Director of Community Support & Engagement)

  • Atlassian (Head of Online Community)

Philippe has been working with Cesar on our newly formed Trust and Safety team, so we envision a very short on-ramp for him as he knows our CM Team and programs. Philippe begins his new role immediately, reporting to me. I will retain my current role as Chief Product, Technology, and Community Officer, though the daily operational responsibility for the community work that we do is now vested in Philippe.

Philippe is particularly excited about his new role with us because he sees Stack Overflow, and the whole Stack Exchange Network, as sharing the same “corner of the Internet” as Reddit and Wikipedia. In fact, he told me early on that he’s tracked this community for years, and is excited to deepen his involvement with it. He’s a firm believer in the work that we do here, and he’s excited about the opportunities before us.

New Community Managers

In addition to Philippe, we are adding two new community managers to the team, starting next Monday. They will both be on Rosie’s community operations team, so you’ll likely have contact with them fairly soon!

We continue to invest in and grow the Community Team, and as we do, we’ll share the plans with you here. As always, thank you for your ongoing work on the sites - you are appreciated!

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    Thank you for letting us know about this. I feel it goes some way towards making the internal workings of SE available to the community that SE-the-company derives monetary value from. – Andrew Morton Jul 16 at 22:26
  • The job description link-at-the-link is broken. Can you please link to the job description? – einpoklum Jul 25 at 7:53
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    Hi Teresa, any news on announcing the new CM's? – Luuklag Jul 26 at 8:04
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    @Luuklag - I'll follow up with Rosie today and see if I can let you know when to expect that. I suspect it's this week, but I'm not certain off the top of my head. – Philippe ModStaff Jul 26 at 10:30
  • Thanks for the update @Philippe – Luuklag Jul 26 at 11:02
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    @Luuklag - Assuming everything today goes as planned with nothing major leaching time away, the intent is to introduce them later today. – Philippe ModStaff Jul 28 at 13:53
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    Thanks for the follow up @Philippe. I'll probably read it tomorrow then, since my (Work)day ends in an hour :) – Luuklag Jul 28 at 14:04
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Teresa, thank you for the re-introduction, and for your confidence in me. And I would also like to thank the many people who were involved in the interview and selection process for this role.

As Teresa said, I’ve been working with online communities for nearly 25 years, and the one thing that I know to be true is that - while I’ve had a lot of experience with communities - no two communities are the same. I look forward to learning more about each of the varied communities that are a part of the Stack Exchange network, and I’ll be talking soon about how I plan to get to know those communities. In addition, I’ll be sharing more about the plans for the Community Team for the second half of this year, and as we begin planning for next year, I’ll share those plans with you as well.

I’m aware that I have much to learn here (I’ve only been here about four months, and in a narrow Trust and Safety role), but I’m excited by this opportunity and I will work hard to make this a community that builds on the very best of what has already been accomplished here. Indeed, as Teresa said, I have tracked this community for years - when I was at Wikipedia and reddit, this is one of the communities that I admired for its high quality content and deeply passionate members. Those are things that I hope you are all proud of; they’re things that we need more of, and they’re priorities for me. I’ve started a conversation with a question to you. Please check it out, and answer it. I’ll look forward to reading your responses.

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    Congratulations on your new role Philippe, and on your first Meta.SE reputation points as well. I hope we get to see more of you as the new VP of Community, then we saw of you in the last 4 months. – Luuklag Jul 14 at 14:36
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    First off, congratulations! And now that the social obligations are out of the way: According to the question, you see Stack Overflow/Stack Exchange sharing the same 'corner of the internet' as Wikipedia and reddit. Wikipedia I can sort-of understand, but why reddit? – Tinkeringbell Mod Jul 14 at 14:38
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    Luuklag, I can guarantee that you will. :). My last role was a lot less directly focused at this part of the community. – Philippe ModStaff Jul 14 at 14:38
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    @Tinkeringbell - Besides, the obvious User Generated Content nature of the work, I think of the educational bits of reddit.... r/DataIsBeautiful, and the likes of that. Not so much.... The_Donald. – Philippe ModStaff Jul 14 at 14:38
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    @Philippe Twitter and Facebook are full of User Generated Content too, so that's not so obvious as it might seem ;) I checked out r/DataIsBeautiful, and it does seem more educational indeed than most of the subreddits I knew before this though, so I can see where you're coming from! – Tinkeringbell Mod Jul 14 at 14:57
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    @Tinkeringbell, yeah, that's true. But I think of them as purely social, and thats something that separates them from the ones that I named. But valid point. – Philippe ModStaff Jul 14 at 15:02
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    So is there going to be a Intro/Q&A or something, or shall we post separate queries here in the comments? – ouflak Jul 14 at 15:19
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    @ouflak, You're welcome to post them here. If you're interested in forward looking planning, post away.... if you're interested in community philosophy, you might wanna hold off until I post tomorrow. :) – Philippe ModStaff Jul 14 at 15:25
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    Welcome, Philippe! Having interacted with you when you were at Reddit, I'm confident you'll do great in the role :) – V2Blast Jul 14 at 19:13
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    @Philippe Congratulations on your new position. I am rooting for both Teresa and you. Regarding your planned post, it would be nice if you can address your vision/ideas on how to better communicate commercial features that are to be introduced into the non-commercial Q&A. The Collectives (in my very humble opinion) were not handled well. Hand picking SO users, signing them on an NDA, and then not even sharing who they were or what was their feedback or how it was addressed does not come across as an honest attempt to keep the community in the loop. – Boaz Jul 15 at 10:05
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    Welcome Philippe and congratulations on your new role, Wish you all the success and hope this new engagement will help you take SO to great heights. – Faiz Mohammed Jul 15 at 10:39
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    My only issue with you is the amount of times you've jumped from job to job. Scares me, none of the communities (except wiki) that you lead lasted much longer then a year. What makes you move on to other companies so quickly? – JonH Jul 15 at 17:16
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    @FaizMohammed and Boaz, thanks for the welcome and congrats. Boaz, your questions are valid and I'll try to address them soon, though probably not in today's post. RockPaperLz, thank you for the welcome and offer. :) – Philippe ModStaff Jul 15 at 18:26
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    @JonH - That's a fair question. I have chosen to specialize in a very particular niche of community management: growing UGC sites with an educational focus. But that area of interest for me wasn't always clear, and it's taken some trial and error to figure out what motivated me. As well, I like to build stuff... some things (my work at Atlassian for instance) were narrowly focused on standing up a single project. Once that was done, so was I. But in all cases, I think those engaged would agree that my work was valuable and high quality. :). Thanks for the question. – Philippe ModStaff Jul 15 at 18:29
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    @StevenStadnicki Actually, I take a great deal of comfort from the fact that The_Donald is no longer a part of reddit, and for the couple of years before it was removed, it was suppressed from appearing on the main page. I like to think that I was instrumental in laying the groundwork that made both of those things happen. I also had r/pizzagate removed on my watch, and closed literally hundreds of unacceptable subreddits. Those things, in addition to my years of fighting extremism on the internet, are some of my proudest achievements. Did it take too long? Absolutely. But we got it done – Philippe ModStaff Jul 26 at 10:28
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Shouldn't the VP of Community come from the Stack Exchange network community, not another community?

I'm not convinced if the VP of Community at Stack Exchange coming from a different network will be able to properly understand the Stack Overflow community and represent it.

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    Maybe we have different expectations of the role. I'm not looking to be represented. I'm looking for someone who is able to manage the politics within SE Inc. That better be someone that has seen some large organizations on the inside and knows how community management fits into the broader business goals. I have the impression Phillipe has better capabilities then someone from within the community – rene Jul 19 at 15:06
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    Do you have any examples what do you feel that this person should be doing if we assume that representing community isn't one of the responsibilities? – Daniel Kmak Jul 19 at 21:57
  • As mentioned in the original post, Philippe was already working as a community manager for the Stack Exchange before being promoted to VP. He has lots of experience in community management, which is definitely a thing you want in a VP of Community. – V2Blast Jul 19 at 22:12
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    To clarify @V2Blast information for anyone reading, according to "original post" Philippe worked as CM in SE from end of March 2021 to July 2021. – Daniel Kmak Jul 19 at 22:21
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    @DanielKmak "Do you have any examples what do you feel that this person should be doing if we assume that representing community isn't one of the responsibilities?" convincing management that the community matters. If management already has low opinion of the community, a representative from there is going to have a tough time convincing them. – VLAZ Jul 20 at 8:49
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    Well, as long as the onboarding will not result in thinking it is a forum... – P.Mort. - forgot Clay Shirky_q Jul 21 at 14:37

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