ICANN is sort of like the Justice League of the Internet. They are a NGO that’s dedicated to protecting the Internet from any one stakeholder from gaining too much power. They are the people behind the expansion of the gTLDs earlier this summer that led to Google and Amazon bidding over domain names like .book and .talk. The group now has a new CEO and he has a plan to keep the Internet like it always has – free of any one stakeholder’s influence.
On June 22, ICANN announced that Fadi Chehadé was to become the next CEO of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. Since the announcement, it was expected that Chehadé would take on the role of CEO starting October 1. That’s why it’s a surprise that he has announced his rise to the position of CEO starting today. He relieves Akram Attalah of his duties as interim CEO who will now return to his prior position as COO.
“I have spent the past two months asking myself and many others from all over the Internet community worldwide the same questions,” said Chehadé. “How can ICANN work better with its stakeholders to bring all interested parties to the table to debate and agree how to improve the DNS? How can we ensure that all global citizens can share an open Internet which is sustainable and resilient?”
Chehadé says that his plan puts stakeholders first. He will be amassing a team to help speed up Internet engagement across the world. He will also be expanding the roles of his key officers to help oversee the new initiatives from ICANN including the creation of multiple new gTLDs.
ICANN will also be establishing many of its top brass in European regions to help “strengthen ICANN’s international engagement at all levels.” This includes Tarek Kamel, senior adviser to the CEO, who will be in charge of developing an effective strategy to boost Internet penetration in Africa.
“I’ve spent the summer putting the right team in place – looking deep within ICANN and beyond to find the best mix of talents to help me to fulfill ICANN’s mission,” said Chehadé. “Frankly I am impressed and humbled by what these diverse leaders bring to the table. I’ve been fortunate to have great support from the ICANN Board as well as the staff and I know that we will be able to build upon the organization’s many achievements.”
He will also be making many other departments report directly to him. Most corporations would rather have a supervisor below them to take care of the smaller details, but it looks like Chehadé is up for the challenge. Here’s hoping the new management can help prevent more incidents like those that plagued the gTLD registrations earlier this year.