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ICANN pays close to $1 million for CEO in 2011. Here’s compensation for 18 other ICANN employees.

June 11, 2012Domaining, Domainnamewire, icann, icann compensation, Policy & Law, rod beckstromComments Off on ICANN pays close to $1 million for CEO in 2011. Here’s compensation for 18 other ICANN employees.

Rod Beckstrom’s total compensation and benefits nearly $1 million last fiscal year; many other highly paid employees at non-profit.

ICANN has published its Form 990 tax return for the financial year ending June, 2011. Here’s what top employees earned (including non-taxable benefits):

Rod Beckstrom, CEO $998,230
Akram Atallah, COO $133,812
Doug Brent, COO $348,628
John Jeffrey General Counsel & Secretary $338,475
Kurt Pritz, SVP Services $399,747
Kevin Wilson, CFO $254,342
Steve Antonoff, Director Human Resources $226,773
Barbara Clay, VP Communications $248,302
David Conrad, VP Research and IANA Strategy $213,600
Elise Gerich, VP IANA and Technical Operations $173,333
Daniel Halloran, Deputy General Counsel $272,342
James Hedlund, VP Government Affairs $353,204
David Olive, VP Policy Development $286,860
Amy Stathos, Deputy General Counsel $285,996
Tina Dam, Chief GTLD Registry Liaison $277,319
Elizabeth Gasster, Senior Policy Counselor $294,404
Margaret Milam, Senior Policy Counselor $279,554
Roman Pelikh, Sr. Director, Appl & Services $255,381
Michael Salazar, Director of New gTLD Program $305,844

Top contractors include:

Jones Day, its law firm $1,868,820
Iron Mountain, intellectual property services (whois escrow) $634,778
Compass Lexecon, consulting services $632,735
Verilan Event Services, Incl, event services $500,858
Frank Fowlie, ombudsman $451,860

(Hat tip: George Kirikos)

© 2011.

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Want to be ICANN’s next CEO?

December 12, 2011Domaining, Domainnamewire, icann, icann ceo, Policy & Law, rod beckstromComments Off on Want to be ICANN’s next CEO?

Non-profit publishes profile of desired CEO.

Want to be the CEO of an organization launching a highly controversial expansion of the internet namespace and seeing its budget double or triple your first year on the job?

ICANN has a job for you.

Today ICANN announced it has selected search firm Odgers Berndtson of Brussels to help it find a new CEO to replace Rod Beckstrom. ICANN has used the same firm previously.

It also published a candidate profile (pdf). Among the attributes that will make you successful in this role is being able to work within the “internet governance ecosystem”. It’s a bit scarey to see mentions of the United Nations in this profile document. But the truth is ICANN’s CEO needs to be able to manage expectations of other governments that want to play a greater role in internet governance.

This will be interesting to watch.

© 2011.

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Rod Beckstrom To Leave ICANN After End of Term

August 16, 2011Domaining, Domainnamewire, icann, Policy & Law, rod beckstromComments Off on Rod Beckstrom To Leave ICANN After End of Term

CEO to step down at end of three year tenure.

ICANN President and CEO Rod Beckstrom will step down at the end of his three year term, the non-profit announced this afternoon.

He has been at the helm of the company since July 2009 and will finish his three year contract at the end of June 2012.

It’s been an interesting couple years since he joined the organization. Shortly after he started ICANN gained some independence from the U.S. government. But the relationship with the U.S. government has been sour as the group pushes forward with new top level domain names.

In an official press release, Beckstrom said:

“I can summarize my time here in four words: strong execution, great teambuilding,” he said. “We have built a world-class executive team, and elevated ICANN’s stature through strategic relationships with governments, businesses, top technology firms and international organizations.”

But Beckstrom’s tenture may be as controversial as the organization itself.

In June former ICANN staffer Kieren McCarthy wrote a post titled “Has ICANN already fired Rod Beckstrom?” that summarizes at least one view of Beckstrom.

Of course, ICANN is one of those punching bags that no one ever really likes. I didn’t hear a lot of positive talk about the previous CEO, either.

The announcement nearly a year in advance does seems a bit early, but it should give the group more time to recruit its next leader.

© 2011.

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ICANN CEO Snaps Back at ANA Over New TLDs

August 10, 2011association of national advertisers, Domaining, Domainnamewire, icann, Policy & Law, rod beckstromComments Off on ICANN CEO Snaps Back at ANA Over New TLDs

Beckstrom responds to advertising group with strongly worded letter.

ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom has responded (pdf) to a letter (pdf) from Association of National Advertisers (ANA) that had demanded ICANN suspend its plans for the new top level domain name program.

Beckstrom informs IANA that “The assertions in your letter are either incorrect or problematic in several respects.”

He stresses that the program is the culmination of work with every stakeholder in the ICANN process including 45 public comment periods (one of which ANA submitted comments for).

Beckstrom writes:

Your letter also claims that the program represents “unrestricted expansion” or allows “virtually any word or phrase.” These statements demonstrate a lack of understanding of Program details. More research on your part would have revealed: (i) restrictions on delegation rates; (ii) string requirements and limitations; (iii) required applicant background, financial and technical qualifications; (iv) objection processes for infringing and other inappropriately applied-for strings; and (v) standing registry operator obligations in the registry agreement.

He then explains actions ICANN took that address all five of ANA’s concerns it submitted during public comment periods.

And for a closing salvo, Beckstrom informs ANA that it isn’t scared about legal posturing:

Please be advised that ICANN will vigorously defend the multi-stakeholder model and the hard-fought consensus of its global stakeholder participants, its duty to act in accordance with established bottom-up processes, and its responsibility to the broad public interest of the global Internet community, rather than to the specific interests of any particular group.

© 2011.

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ICA Requests Action on Czech Arbitration Court Policy Changes

March 8, 2010czech arbitration court, Domaining, Domainnamewire, icann, peter dengate-thrush, Policy & Law, rod beckstromComments Off on ICA Requests Action on Czech Arbitration Court Policy Changes

Internet Commerce Association wants ICANN to act quickly on move by UDRP provider.

Internet Commerce Association counsel Philip Corwin has sent a letter (pdf) to ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom and Chairman of the Board Peter Dengate-Thrush asking it to act on Czech Arbitration Court’s new UDRP policy.

Czech Arbitration Court (CAC), one of the newest UDRP providers, proposed a new scheme in which it would charge only 500 EUR to file a domain name complaint and arbitrators would not spend as much time on cases.

ICANN held a public comment period on the proposal, in which all 15 comments were opposed to CAC’s scheme. That includes comments from an existing arbitrator who questioned the basis for the proposal.

Counsel for CAC posted a comment on Domain Name Wire’s earlier story on the proposal, stating that it would not move forward without ICANN’s blessing. Instead, before getting final word from ICANN, CAC made a few changes to the proposal and announced it was going forward with our without ICANN’s approval.

So far, ICANN has not made any public comment on CAC’s move that I’m aware of. It was briefly discussed in another context on the first day of ICANN’s meeting in Nariobi.

Whether ICANN acts on CAC’s move or not, it needs to say something.

© 2009.

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Interview: Rod Beckstrom on Affirmation of Commitments

September 30, 2009affirmation of commitments, Domaining, Domainnamewire, icann, Policy & Law, rod beckstromComments Off on Interview: Rod Beckstrom on Affirmation of Commitments

Domain Name Wire interviews ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom.

We have a new acronym to add to the domain name lexicon: AOC, for Affirmation of Commitments.

Earlier today the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) formally announced its new agreement to replace the Joint Project Agreement (JPA) with the U.S. Government.

On the surface, the AOC (pdf) sounds like a wish list of everything a domain owner could want: explanations from ICANN about how it makes particular decisions, a requirement to address important issues before releasing new gTLDs, and more openness and reviews. The problem is that the agreement lacks teeth.

I talked with ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom this afternoon to dig into some of the details of the agreement.

Beckstrom explained that the AOC replaces the JPA, allowing for more control by world governments; not just the United States. But the AOC is just one piece of the puzzle, and the U.S. government still has a hand by awarding ICANN the Internet Assigned Number Authority (IANA) contract.

“The IANA agreement gives us the authority to be the policy function globally for internet names and numbers, and that’s what holds the web together,” explained Beckstrom. “The JPA was the review process, a separate agreement that was trying to make sure that we grew up as an organization as a multi-stakeholder body.”

The AOC represents the handing off of the formal review process from the United States to the world.

But the AOC isn’t a binding contract and lacks teeth. If ICANN doesn’t fulfill its promises under the agreement, the U.S. government can’t do anything about it, other than make its voice heard on the review panels. In fact, the agreement has a clause that allows either the U.S. government or ICANN to cancel the agreement with 120 days’ notice.

“I don’t think anyone wants to see [the cancellation clause] invoked, but like any partnership agreement it’s prudent to have an out clause,” said Beckstrom.

Beckstrom explained that, as the priorities of ICANN change over the years, it may make sense for the agreement to be modified. For example, it might not make sense for frequent reviews of the effects of new TLDs ten years from now.

Section 9.3 of the AOC calls for ICANN to address many issues prior to releasing new top level domains. It’s unclear if this will slow down the introduction of new top level domains. However, “fast track” IDNs, which are essentially IDN ccTLDs, appear to be full steam ahead.

“It looks like the IDNs are tracking very much on time and feedback seems to be ubiquitously positive,” said Beckstrom.

Non ccTLD IDNs will be introduced as part of the new gTLD process.

The AOC, if followed, should be a positive thing for the domain name industry. And for those that thought the web would die when the JPA did, it appears to still be working.

© 2009.

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ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom Responds to Congress

September 23, 2009Domaining, Domainnamewire, icann, Policy & Law, rod beckstromComments Off on ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom Responds to Congress

ICANN responds to Congress.

ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom has responded to Lamar Smith and Howard Coble’s letter and questions. A copy of Beckstrom’s response is available here.

Here are some highlights:

Implementation Recommendation Team proposals: “The Board has not yet formally considered the proposals from the IRT…

“After this extensive consultation, ICANN is recommending the implementation of versions of the IRT’s recommendations, such as a post-delegation dispute resolution procedure and a “thick Whois” requirement…

“…ICANN will, to the extent possible, protect trademark holders from abusive registrations and from the need for defensive registration in new gTLDs, but no final decision has been made yet on the exact mechanisms that will be employed.”

Economic studies: “In the end, calling for a delay in the entry of new gTLDs only serves to perpetuate existing market conditions: concentration within some existing registries, with most short generic strings unavailable, and those that trade on the value of the current marketplace, holding portfolios based upon the value of current .COM names…

“Even with what appears to be compelling benefits of competition, ICANN’s commitment to open and transparent processes requires further action on ICANN’s part to address the questions that have been raised surrounding the sufficiency of the economic studies commissioned to date. Accordingly, ICANN will retain economists to review and summarize work to date regarding the costs and benefits of new gTLDs, putting that work into the context of the questions some have said remain open, and then evaluate whether additional study is required.”

Expiration of JPA: “I am in discussions with the NTIA to establish a long-standing relationship to accommodate principles including the beliefs that ICANN should remain a nonprofit corporation based in the United States, and should retain and ongoing focus on accountability and transparency.

“…Accordingly, ICANN seeks to have a long term, formal relationship with the United States Government and also seeks to build long-term relationships with other countries and contractual partners as well.”

© 2009.

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Update: Lamar Smith and Howard Coble Letter to ICANN

September 17, 2009Domaining, Domainnamewire, icann, joint project agreement, Policy & Law, rod beckstromComments Off on Update: Lamar Smith and Howard Coble Letter to ICANN

Details of letter sent to ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom.

Yesterday DNW wrote about a letter that House Judiciary Committee members Lamar Smith and Howard Coble sent to ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom. This letter covers the roll out of new gTLDs and the expiration of ICANN’s joint project agreement with the U.S. Government.

Domain Name Wire has obtained a copy of the letter (pdf) and its detailed questions of ICANN. The letter is dated September 15, and requests a response by September 22. This tight deadline is probably due to the impending expiration of the JPA with ICANN at the end of this month.

In the letter, Smith and Coble discuss numerous issues:

Price Caps: “We note that the absence of price caps in the new registry agreements could mean that legitimate businesses with an established consumer base and Internet presence may be discriminated against and compelled to pay a premium for each new domain name they register or renew.”

Economic justification for new TLDs: “We also note that the record concerning the impact this proposed expansion will have on competition is woefully inadequate. To our knowledge, the only economic justification put forth thus far has been an ICANN-commissioned report that has been widely criticized for failing to include empirical data or analysis in support of its conclusion that the unrestricted expansion of gTLDS will result in net consumer benefits”

Policy development process, transparency, and accountability: “…we note with disappointment that serious consideration of these [intellectual property] interests did not occur in the normal course of ICANN’s policy development process, and the IRT was formed only after considerable public outcry arose from the business and intellectual property communities.” The letter further notes that decisions on IRT’s proposals haven’t been announced and aren’t planned to be announced prior to the expiration of the JPA. The congressmen note, “This apparent time-line reinforces the perception that ICANN decision-marking processes lack critical transparency and accountability.”

ICANN’s track record: “Given the late consideration of intellectual property concerns, the lack of a credible independent analysis on competition issues in the context of proposals to expand gTLDs, as well as ICANN’s less-than-stellar track record on a variety of other issues (enforcement of registrar obligations, accuracy of publicly available Whois data), we have serious misgivings about the prospect of terminating the formal relationship between the U.S. Government and ICANN that is currently represented by the JPA.”

The letter then asks pointed questions about IRT’s recommendations, the launch of new gTLDs, and the JPA.

© 2009.

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