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ICANN gets 100 applicants for CEO job

Kevin Murphy, February 22, 2012, Domain Policy

Over 100 people have applied to be ICANN’s next CEO, according to the organization.

ICANN revealed last night that it was provided with a shortlist of 27 potential candidates by its headhunter, Odgers Berndtson, and that its board has interviewed 16 of them by phone.

The list has now been whittled down further for face-to-face interviews with the board of directors, and ICANN expects to select a winner by mid-April.

Watch out for unfamiliar faces in expensive suits during the Costa Rica meeting in March – I’m guessing this might be where some of the interviews take place.

Current CEO Rod Beckstrom plans to leave the organization when his contract expires in July. He’s on a starting salary of $750,000, which may explain why there’s been so much interest in the job.

First ICANN CEO candidate revealed

Kevin Murphy, February 8, 2012, Domain Policy

Former ICANN director Njeri Rionge has emerged as a possible candidate for the soon-to-be-vacated CEO’s job.

Rionge is a Kenyan national, described last year by Forbes.com as “one of Kenya’s most successful and revered serial entrepreneurs”.

She founded Wananchi Online, a successful ISP in East Africa, and the business consultancy Ignite Consulting.

Her candidature was revealed in an open letter posted today by Sophia Bekele, CEO of DotConnectAfrica, a likely applicant for the .africa generic top-level domain.

DCA and Rionge have severed ties due to her new CEO aspirations, according to Bekele:

At the end of 2011, Ms. Njeri Rionge had expressed to DCA Executive Director, a direct interest in competing for the soon to be vacant ICANN CEO position, and for this reason, was kindly requested by DCA to submit her resignation from the DCA Strategic Advisory Board for ethical/conflict of interest reasons.

This was done after due internal consultations with concerned parties. Accordingly, Njeri Rionge is no longer involved in DCA and DCA Registry Ltd either as a Board Member or shareholder and will not represent neither would she be affiliated with DCA in any capacity, now or in the near future.

Rionge served on the ICANN board of directors as a Nominating Committee appointee for two terms between 2003 and 2008.

While there’s a ban on current directors applying for the CEO position, I don’t believe there’s any such prohibition on former directors.

ICANN is currently interviewing would-be replacements for Rod Beckstrom, who intends to leave the organization in July after a three-year term.

No other candidates have been revealed to date.

The only other name being circulated in the rumor mill is Lesley Cowley, CEO of .uk registry Nominet and current chair of ICANN’s ccNSO, but I’ve no idea if she’s even interested.

ICANN CEO job ad in The Economist [image]

Kevin Murphy, January 6, 2012, Domain Policy

Having spent the last six months mulling over the qualities its ideal CEO would possess, ICANN has started advertising the position to a wider audience.

EconomistThis ad (click to enlarge) appears in the January 7-13 issue of The Economist.

ICANN says it is looking for “public interest-minded individual with a combination of financial management, diplomatic and organizational skills”.

The successful candidate will have “excellent management and leadership skills, positive and steady personality” and a “solid record of public, corporate, and/or academic experience at high international level”.

He or she will have to be committed to “integrity, trust, humility, technical excellence and public service”.

The salary is described as “commensurate with the scope and importance of the position”.

Rod Beckstrom, who intends to leave ICANN in July, is known to receive a base salary of $750,000 and bonuses that have bumped his total take-home to over $800,000.

Wanted: new CEO for ICANN

Kevin Murphy, December 12, 2011, Domain Policy

ICANN has hired a recruiting firm and posted a job ad, officially kicking off its hunt for a CEO to replace Rod Beckstrom when he leaves next summer.

The organization has posted a candidate profile, listing 25 personal, professional, technical and governance skills that are desirable.

Candidates should have a “solid record of either/or public, corporate, academic service, at a high international level” and be able to combine “weight of personality with empathy towards others of many different backgrounds”.

They should also understand the internet’s technical protocols and have knowledge of international institutions such as the UN, according to the profile.

“Few if any candidates will of course match every single criterion listed above, but those who reach the final shortlist are expected to score very highly against them,” it states.

The Brussels-based executive search firm Odgers Berndtson has been recruited to handle applications, ICANN said.

Beckstrom himself has previously said that he thinks his replacement should come from outside the domain name industry, but this is not stated as a requirement on the profile.

ICANN directors ruled out of CEO search

Kevin Murphy, October 15, 2011, Domain Policy

ICANN’s directors have been barred from applying for the soon-to-be-vacated CEO position.

The board elected a panel of directors to get the CEO search underway last Tuesday, but noted:

no current or incoming member of the Board or liaisons may be considered as a candidate for the role of the CEO for the current CEO Selection process.

A replacement for Rod Beckstrom, who announced that he will step down when his contract expires next June, will now be overseen by a special CEO Search Process Management Work Committee.

The committee will comprise: Steve Crocker, Bertrand de La Chapelle, Erika Mann Chris Disspain, Cherine Chalaby, Ray Plzak and R. Ramaraj. George Sadowsky will chair.

I had previously put at least three of those on my speculative list of “insiders” who could conceivably apply for the CEO’s job.