With the first-ever .nxt conference on new top-level domains just hours away from opening its doors, it looks like star speaker Rod Beckstrom has canceled his appearance.
ICANN’s president and CEO, who was featured prominently on the web site of the San Francisco conference as recently as Sunday, no longer appears on the agenda.
His keynote slot, scheduled for 10am local tomorrow, has been filled by Kurt Pritz, ICANN’s senior vice president of stakeholder relations and point man for the new TLD program.
While Pritz perhaps lacks the name recognition and stage presence of Beckstrom, it could be argued that his more granular insight into the program may actually make him a better-value speaker.
Juan Diego Calle, CEO of .CO Internet, is still scheduled for the second keynote, on Wednesday. Here’s hoping he can provide an update on .co’s post-Super Bowl performance.
UPDATE: Conference organizer Kieren McCarthy has confirmed that Beckstrom was unable to make it to San Francisco in time for the keynote, but said he may still attend later.