An uncomfortable change to FEX leadership

Stefanos Kornilios Mitsis Poiitidis (aka skmp) was one of the three original maintainers and contributors to the FEX project. Due to a code-of-conduct complaint, we (the other original maintainers) are permanently expelling Stefanos from all leadership positions, and indefinitely expelling Stefanos from the project as a whole.

Our investigation concluded there was a concerning pattern of behavior. Consistently, major conflicts and communication breakdowns with Stefanos would arise from minor disagreements. Though he could be very communicative, it was extremely difficult to bring him to a common understanding. Stefanos often interpreted these conflicts as malicious, and retaliated with increasingly aggressive and/or manipulative behavior. Each individual instance was relatively minor, but compounded to create a negative environment, with team members struggling to constructively engage with Stefanos.

We approached Stefanos to address these behaviors and offered to support him towards positive change. Through this engagement with Stefanos, we concluded that:

  • Stefanos could not understand the damage resulting from these behaviors;
  • He recognized what he was doing, describing them as “sociopathic behaviors”;
  • He did not see them as wrong and was actually proud of developing them;
  • He claimed the code of conduct required us to accommodate these behaviors.

Stefanos gave us an ultimatum to file a formal code-of-conduct complaint, or get out of his way.

Our code of conduct requires maintainers to provide an “open and welcoming environment” to the entire community, not just Stefanos. We concluded Stefanos’s expulsion was the only feasible option.

It may be possible for Stefanos to return to this project in the distant future, but only as an external contributor, and only if we see convincing evidence of change.

Normally we wouldn’t release this much detail regarding a code-of-conduct investigation. But because of Stefanos’s leadership role, because much of this behavior happened behind closed doors, we felt this level of transparency was appropriate.

Ryan & Scott

Written on September 1, 2022