Rod Beckstrom, President and CEO of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced that he will leave at the end of his term.
“I am incredibly proud of ICANN’s achievements throughout my tenure,” said Beckstrom. “In two short years we have advanced this organization to a new level of professionalism and productivity, and turned it into a genuinely multinational organization that will serve the world community long after my time here.”
“I can summarize my time here in four words: strong execution, great team building,” he said. “We have built a world-class executive team, and elevated ICANN’s stature through strategic relationships with governments, businesses, top technology firms and international organizations.”
Actually, his time there was summarized in about 35 bullet points in this list of accomplishments.
I have decided to wrap up my service at ICANN July 2012. Press release soon.
The announcement doesn't really delve into why Beckstrom is stepping down, but there has been a fair amount of controversy over the new ICANN gTLD program. The Association of National Advertisers, which is made up of 400 companies representing over 10,000 brands, as well as the Interactive Advertising Bureau, which is made up of over 500 media and tech companies, which it claims are responsible for 86% of online advertising in the U.S., have spoken out against the program.
The IAB says it could be "disastrous" to brand owners, and that it would "offer cyber squatters an opportunity to harm a brand's integrity and/or profit greatly from their bad faith domain registrations."
ICANN has defended against such notions, insisting that it "should not infringe the existing legal rights of others."
More on this discussion here.
Beckstrom's term will be completed on July 1. He's held the position since July 1, 2009. In the meantime, he says, “I remain committed to leading this critical organization with the utmost
dedication, and to living up to our common vision: One world, one Internet.”
ICANN will start accepting applications for new gTLDs on January 12, 2012, with the application period will run until April. They’re expected to roll out late next year.