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ICANN salary porn: 2022 edition

Kevin Murphy, May 11, 2023, Domain Policy

ICANN has published its fiscal 2022 US tax returns, revealing as usual the big bucks its top brass and contractors are paid for boldly keeping the internet stable and secure.

It was a good year for former CEO Göran Marby, who held the top job until the end of calendar 2022 and saw his total compensation top a million dollars for a second time, having dipped in fiscal 2021.

Marby’s total package was $1,050,755 in salary, bonus and benefits for the year ended June 30, up from $977,540 in the previous year. The performance-related portion was $218,315, up from $202,038. His base salary was $734,579, up from $673,462.

The tax filing lists 17 highly compensated employees, down by two from 2021, who are making $390,000 and up. Seven made over half a million dollars a year, up from five in the previous year.

One of the missing employees this year was CTO David Conrad, who left the Org at the end of 2021. The filing reveals he was paid $115,874 in severance, despite ICANN characterizing his departure as a decision he made himself.

Current interim CEO Sally Costerton’s compensation is not revealed. It’s paid to her consulting company and the sum, whatever it is, presumably does not meet the threshold for disclosure as a top contractor.

(I hope this number is disclosed in future, because I’ve just come up with a funny nickname for her if it’s a very large amount.)

Top contractors are as usual law firm Jones Day ($5,164,603, down from $8,769,608) and software developers Architech, Zensar and OSTechnical, which received $2,857,500, $1,488,077 and $1,169,210 respectively.

ICANN’s total revenue was $167,893,854, up from $163,942,482. Its surplus after expenses was $22,755,179, down from $32,564,762. It had net assets of $539,863,742 at the end of June, down from $555,804,201.

The filing reveals that non-accreditation fees from registries and registrars topped $100 million.

ICANN salary porn: 2021 edition

Kevin Murphy, May 3, 2022, Domain Policy

It’s that time of year again when ICANN publishes its tax returns and we all get to ogle the phat paychecks its top brass are cutting themselves with domain registrants’ money.

Headlining, CEO Göran Marby actually got paid a bit less in fiscal 2021, which ended last June, than he did the previous year — $908,674, plus another $68,866 from “other” sources.

That total of $977,540 is lower than the total of $1,059,222 he received in fiscal 2020, largely due to receiving about $94,000 less in bonus payments.

Marby was given a 5% pay raise in February 2021, though not without some director dissent.

The Form 990 goes on to disclose the salaries of 35 ICANN management and directors, showing that 19 of them make over $300,00 a year. Five, including Marby, receive over half a million dollars.

Directors, if they choose to draw a salary, take home a flat $45,000, which is sometimes paid to their companies instead. Chair Maarten Botterman had $75,000 paid to his consulting company.

The filing reveals that VP Cyrus Namazi, who left the Org during the period after attracting sexual harassment complaints from at least two female colleagues, was given a $375,000 golden parachute.

And former COO Susanna Bennett was given $380,380 in severance payments, despite the fact that her departure was originally described by Marby as her own voluntary decision.

Law firm Jones Day was the best-paid contractor, billing $8,769,608 in the year. That was up from $5,513,028 in the previous year.

Software developers Architect, Zensar and OSTechnical received $2,769,856, $1,396,232 and $1,093,070 respectively, presumably for work on the ICANN web site.

ICANN’s revenue for the year was $163,942,482, of which $97.5 million came from registrars and registries.

The Org had $555,804,201 in assets at the end of the year.

You can download the forms here.

Time for some more ICANN salary porn

Kevin Murphy, June 3, 2019, Domain Policy

ICANN has filed its tax return for its fiscal 2018, so it’s once again that time of the year in which the community gets to salivate over how much its top staffers get paid.
The latest form 990, covering the 12 months to June 30, 2018, shows that the top 21 ICANN employees were compensated to the tune of $10.3 million, an average of $492,718 each.
That’s up about 4% from $9.9 million in the previous year, an average across the top 21 staffers of $474,396 apiece.
These numbers include base salary, bonuses, and benefits such as pension contributions.
Employee compensation overall increased from $60 million to $73.1 million.
The biggest earner was of course CEO Göran Marby, who is now earning more than his immediate predecessor Fadi Chehadé but a bit less than last-but-one boss Rod Beckstrom.
Marby’s total compensation was $936,585, having received a bonus of almost $200,000 during the year. His base salary was $673,133.
The number of staffers receiving six-figure salaries increased from 159 in fiscal 2017 to 183 — about 44% of its estimated end-of-year headcount.
Towards the end of the reported year, as ICANN faced a budget crunch, many members of the ICANN community had called on the organization to rein in its spending on staff.
ICANN says it targets compensation in the 50th to 75th percentile range for the relevant industry.
The top five outside contractors in the year were:

  • Jones Day, ICANN’s go-to law firm. It received $5.4 million, down from $8.7 million in 2017.
  • Zensar Technologies, the IT consultancy that develops and supports ICANN software. It received $3.7 million.
  • IIS, the Swedish ccTLD registry, which does pre-delegation testing for new gTLDs. It received $1.3 million.
  • Iron Mountain, the data escrow provider. It received $1.1 million.
  • Infovity, which provides Oracle software support. It received $1 million.

The return shows that ICANN made a loss of $23.9 million in the year, on revenue that was down from $302.6 million to $136.7 million.
The primary reason for this massive decrease in revenue was the $135 million Verisign paid for the rights to run .web, at an ICANN last-resort auction, in ICANN’s fiscal 2017.
The tax form for 2018 can be found here (pdf) and 2017’s can be found here (pdf).