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Krueger removed as chair as M+M finally starts seeing some revenue

Kevin Murphy, May 27, 2015, 12:18:18 (UTC), Domain Registries

Minds + Machines co-founder Fred Krueger has been kicked out of his job as executive chairman of the company.
The news came as the new gTLD registry reported its first full year of results as a proper, revenue-generating company.
The company reported revenue of $1.9 million for 2014, compared to $56,000 in 2013.
Its report includes a “cash revenue” line of $5 million, to show off revenues that it has deferred to future periods due to standard domain industry accounting.
For accounting purposes, M+M was profitable to the tune of $22 million for the year, but almost none of that is from actually selling domains — $33.7 million of profit came from losing new gTLD auctions.
That’s not a sustainable or predictable part of the business — nobody knows exactly when or if ICANN will launch the next round of new gTLDs — but it did help M+M grow its cash pile to $45.7 million.
That pile may grow or shrink depending on how aggressive the company is in its 11 remaining new gTLD contention set auctions.
CEO Antony Van Couvering said that M+M is also eyeing acquisition opportunities as the new gTLD industry enters an early consolidation phase.
He said that M+M’s early priorities include a focus on selling premium domains that have higher than usual annual renewal fees.
At the same time as announcing its results, the company said Krueger, who founded M+M with Van Couvering in 2009 in anticipation of the new gTLD program, has quit.
While he’s technically resigned, he left no doubt in his unusually frank resignation letter that he’s actually been forced out by the M+M board of directors.
He wrote that the decision was “initiated by the board” and that his “decision” to leave “was unexpected – for me at least”.
He added that he was “OK with it, indeed supportive of it” and that he has no intention to sell off his substantial stake in the company.
Krueger will now focus on Mozart, a web site building software maker that he’s been leading for the last couple of years. M+M has a deal to offer Mozart to its registrants.
He’s been replaced, albeit in a non-executive capacity, by Keith Teare, an existing director.
Teare is a tech veteran perhaps best known in the domain industry for launching and running RealNames, which attempted to replicate AOL Keywords for the Internet Explorer browser at the turn of the century.

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Comments (2)

  1. tom barrett says:

    Keith has deep experience in the domain name industry. Prior to RealNames, Keith was also the non-exec Chairman of the Board for NetNames, back when it was sold it to NetBenefit, then on the LSE.

  2. Phil Buckingham says:

    Welcome back,Keith. Agreed with Anthony – lots of opportunities to acquire underperfoming, failing TLDs. The question is, which ones at what price. Singles and plurals will need to merge. Phil

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