Behind the scenes at Apache: Corporate Org Chart

This post has been improved and turned into the ASF’s official Corporate Governance Organization Chart overview – please see the new version there!

You probably use contribute to several Apache projects.  But do you know what goes on behind the scenes at the ASF?  Besides all the work of the 200+ project communities, the ASF has an annual budget of about one $million USD to fund the services our projects use.  How we manage providing these services – and governing the corporation behind the projects – continues to change and improve.

I’ve written a detailed description of corporate governance at the ASF. Members elect the board; the board appoints officers; the board approves all PMC appointments; and some officers either work with committees or outside vendors to do their work.  And all governance positions at the ASF are unpaid volunteers, meaning that keeping clear coordination paths is important.

Over the past couple of years operations at the ASF have expanded and changed how we organize them.  Here are some updated org charts to help explain who does what behind the scenes.

Apache Corporate Organization Charts

Apache Corporate Reporting Structures
Apache Corporate Reporting Structures


All officers at the ASF report to the board monthly.  Every Apache PMC submits a report quarterly.  A number of specific officers manage the relationships with external vendors who handle accounting, insurance, publicity, and other corporate functions that we contract for.

Note that the Apache Membership can also provide oversight and advice to the board.  Members do not have a formal role in daily operations, however many Members are the volunteers (or officers) that help keep operations running.

Apache Corporate Governance - Elections & Appointments
Apache Corporate Governance – Elections & Appointments

The Membership are like shareholders in the corporation; they elect directors to the board.  The board serves two roles: as a traditional corporate board, which appoints officers and sets strategy; and the open source board, which provides community oversight to all Apache projects.  Daily operations are now centralized under the President, and most corporate officers report there instead of directly to the board.

Apache Project Governance
Apache Project Governance


Each project at Apache manages their own affairs.  Projects must follow the Apache Way, but are free to set their own technical direction and speed.  Every project can be their own world with their own style.  Officers and the Infra Team then provide services (and set a very few corporate wide requirements) equally to all projects.

Have Your Say – Help Us Improve!

The Apache Community Development project is working hard to better explain how Apache works.  There’s a lot of work in running a successful FOSS Foundation like the ASF.  We want to give people some perspective on all the volunteers behind the scenes that provide services for all Apache projects

Once reviewed, I’ll be checking these org charts into the official website.  Any comments or suggestions – or corrections of errors – are greatly appreciated!

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Briefly, Shane is: a father and husband, a friend, a geek, a Member and director of the ASF, a baker, an ex-Loti, a BMW driver, a punny guy, a gamer, and lifelong resident within the 495 belt. Oh, and we have cats.

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