TOC Update: Stepping down as a TOC Chair (but not a member) and a Governance Board Member

Oleg Nenashev

Dear all,

As it was discussed at the TOC Meeting on December 06, I’m stepping down from the roles of the CDF technical oversight committee chair and the CDF Governing Board members. This change is effective immediately.

I made this decision after the conversation with Fatih Degirmenci and Steven Chin on November 30th, 2022. Steven wanted me to either commit 100% time and effort to the foundation and to start pushing all bits and growing excitement, or to step down. Steven and Fatih disagreed with the original co-chair idea or other enablement programs for other TOC members that we planned for at the TOC. Instead, their desire is to have a strong leader sponsored by one of the foundation member companies. And I agree with them.

To survive and flourish, the foundation needs somebody to drive the technical programs and to proactively engage with member projects, companies, end users and contributors. Indeed it is a full-time effort for a foundation that includes massive projects like Jenkins, Tekton or Spinnaker with hundreds thousands of installations. On many occasions at the TOC and Board meetings, I suggested hiring technical program managers for the foundation to facilitate programs and technical partnerships. I do feel strongly that such a role is needed, and indeed it has to be a full-time job if we want the foundation to succeed. And yes, a TOC Chair could hold this role. But no, it is not me. I neither can nor want to commit so much time to the Continuous Delivery Foundation at the moment.

As you probably remember, during the TOC Chair elections in August I explicitly declared my limited availability due to many commitments and due to the ongoing war in Ukraine and personal events. These events created a lot of pressure on me, and I could not be available for the TOC matters beyond minimum required responsibilities as it was discussed with the team. This is why we discussed options of deputy chairs and co-chairs, and this is why I declared enabling and onboarding the next TOC chair my key priority. I also explicitly announced the decision to step down in August 2023 the latest. For me, my health and my family are the top priority. After the conversation with Steven and Fatih and their feedback, I just step down earlier than it was planned. C’est la vie.

What's next for the TOC? Fatih and Michelle will be organizing the next elections soon. I am working with them to expand the role definition in accordance with the expectations communicated by Steven and Fatih. The requirements should be live soon, and the election nominations should happen afterwards. For the activities I've been coordinating, e.g. the TOC roadmap, I expect other TOC members to step up and drive it together as we've always discussed it. I strongly believe that the TOC Chair is just a nominal person, and all TOC members have equal rights and responsibilities when it comes to driving the technical roadmap and the initiatives of the foundation.

What's next for me? First of all, I am not leaving the TOC. I will remain on the committee, at least until the new project representative elections happen in June. I will keep representing Jenkins on the TOC, and I will keep contributing to the initiatives I am interested in and want to support (e.g. CDEvents). At the same time, my availability will be limited due to health and personal reasons, and I make no commitment beyond participating as a general TOC member. Whomever becomes a new TOC chair, I will do my best to assist them and to provide knowledge transfers.

I cordially wish the foundation, all its members, and the next TOC Chair success! I am looking forward to contributing to it.

Best regards,
Oleg Nenashev