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Vignes out as CEO of OpenRegistry

OpenRegistry’s founding CEO, Jean-Christophe Vignes, left the position to join a Paris-based law firm last month.

He’s now senior counsel for the domain name practice at Caprioli & Associés.

Vignes said the change of jobs came as part of his family’s move to Paris and that he’s still a member of the OpenRegistry board of directors.

OpenRegistry (also known as Sensirius), which was selected as the back-end registry provider for 21 gTLD applications including .deloitte, .kpn and .schwarz, is based in Belgium.

It is believed that Hans Seeuws, Vignes’ former second in command, is now in charge at OpenRegistry.

OpenRegistry behind 20 new gTLD apps

Kevin Murphy, April 25, 2012, Domain Registries

OpenRegistry will provide the back-end technical infrastructure for 20 new generic top-level domain applications filed by 15 clients, according to a report.

Dutch telco KPN, consultancy Deloitte and financial management firm LPL Financial are among its dot-brand clients, according to Knack.be, quoting executives.

Presumably, we’re looking at bids for .kpn and .lpl as well as .deloitte, which Deloitte confirmed earlier this month.

Its portfolio of applications also includes two cities – one is .gent for Ghent, the other is an American city – and two generic terms that have not yet been revealed.

(UPDATE: While OpenRegistry is not naming the American city, I hear through the grapevine that it might be Boston).

Its clients have a total market cap of $150 billion, according to the report.

That’s not a bad roster for the start-up, whose technical arm is known as Sensirius. The Benelux company was founded in late 2010 by former executives from EuroDNS and Belgian ccTLD manager DNS.be.

A year ago it won the contract to manage the back-end for .sx, the new ccTLD for Sint Maarten.

OpenRegistry latest player in new TLD market

Kevin Murphy, December 21, 2010, Domain Registries

OpenRegistry has become the domain name industry’s newest top-level domain registry operator.

The new company, which went by the name Sensirius while in stealth mode, announced itself officially at the ICANN meeting in Cartagena two weeks ago.

Jean-Christophe Vignes is giving up his operational role at EuroDNS to be CEO of the new company, which hopes to bring more modular, custom-tailored options to organizations that want to launch new TLDs.

For “open”, read “flexible” – OpenRegistry plans to differentiate itself by offering clients “a la carte” options, rather than the one-size-fits-all services it believes some competitors offer.

“We’ve noticed that no two clients are the same,” Vignes said. “Some of them are already pretty well taken care of when it comes to drafting applications and so on, and just need the registry solution, but others are happy to have the full suite of our services.”

The idea is that a city TLD or niche community TLD will not necessarily have the same needs as a full-blown mass-market gTLD, Vignes said.

OpenRegistry plans to make three packages available at first, according to its web site – all-inclusive, managed registry, and software-only. Prices appear to start at around 100,000 euros.

The software itself is based on the registry expertise used in the design of Belgium’s .be and EurID’s .eu, although it appears to be a fresh creation.

Vignes said that it will be able to natively handle start-up functions such as premium domain auctions and interfacing with the IP Clearinghouse.

The company does not intend to apply for its own TLDs, Vignes said, allowing it to focus on its clients.

But it does plan on being somewhat selective on which TLDs with which it works, with “feasibility studies” one of the services on offer.

Like the incumbent registry triumvirate of VeriSign, Afilias and Neustar, OpenRegistry hopes that the ICANN-accredited registrar community will be a good source of clients.

ICANN recently said it plans to lift restrictions on registrars applying for and running registries.