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11|15|2012 12:09 pm EDT

gTLD specialist Kurt Pritz resigns as ICANN’s CSO over conflict of Interest

by Frank Michlick in Categories: ICANN / Policy, People

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Picture from ICANN

As per an announcement from ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade, Kurt Pritz, former Chief Strategy Officer at ICANN and gTLD specialist has resigned from ICANN. Until Pritz became Chief Strategy officer in October he was Vice President for Stakeholder Relations. During the new gTLD program he was the key person presenting many of the facts of the program to various stakeholders.

To the ICANN Community,

Regretfully, I have accepted the resignation of Kurt Pritz, who has served most recently as ICANN’s Chief Strategy Officer.

Kurt has submitted his resignation because of a recently identified conflict of interest, which he immediately communicated to ICANN. After analyzing this conflict of interest, we decided that a change in Kurt’s role within ICANN would be appropriate. Kurt decided to resign his position and role as an officer of ICANN, to best serve the interests of the organization. Kurt will be engaged as a subject matter expert where needed, but will have no access to new gTLD applicant information nor will he play a role in the new gTLD program.

I have already put in place a plan for the reassignment of all of Kurt’s management responsibilities.

I would like to thank Kurt for his many years of service and commitment to ICANN and our community.


Further details about the nature of the conflict of interest have not been released.

[via DomainIncite]

06|22|2012 12:09 am EDT

ICANN’s new gTLD Program Director Resigns

by Frank Michlick in Categories: ICANN / Policy

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As announced by ICANN today, the new gTLD Program Director Michael Salazar has resigned. Kurt Pritz has been appointed to take on direct oversight of the entire New Generic Top-level Domain Program in an interim capacity. He will assume the responsibilities of New gTLD Program Director in addition to his responsibilities as Senior Vice President for Stakeholder Relations. Pritz will remain in the interim role until a new Program Director is appointed.

The announcement goes on to say that “He is authorized to bring the full resources available to ICANN to bear on the application evaluation process to improve customer support, applicant communications, security and reporting.” Some applicants had pointed out that it takes ICANN more than five working days to respond to questions in the new gTLD program.

Kurt Pritz will be reporting to COO, Akram Attalah, in his new role in addition to his current responsibilities for which he reports to the CEO. In the announcement, ICANN also promises the introduction of “several new tools” that will “help applicants with any issues or questions about the evaluation process“.

02|11|2010 05:45 pm EDT

ICANN publishes Salaries of Top Level Employees

by Frank Michlick in Categories: ICANN / Policy

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CEO Rod Beckstrom earns $750,000 annual base salary plus bonus

As a not-for profit Organization, ICANN always had to file and publish some information of how they spent their money. However those filings are hard to read and some cases some of the information has been removed. It appears ICANN president & CEO Rod Beckstrom is trying hard to bring a new openness to ICANN. Today he published a document on twitter showing the compensation for ICANN’s top employees. The non-profit models its compensation based on For-Profit companies and “has had major blunders, yet to my knowledge no staff were ever held accountable through termination or pay reductions” according to an article by George Kirikos published on CircleID. Kirikos also points out that the highest paid UN employee earns an annual salary of US$201,000 (“Under Secretary General”) even when taking into account the ITU employees.

But not only salaries at ICANN are costing the domain industry and registrants a fortune. Many of the recently de-accredited registrars owed ICANN large amounts of money. And yet ICANN decided to wait and not require an earlier payment of the fees. Most likely this money will never be seen by ICANN now, and thus the rest of the community will have to pay for it.

The board has recently decided to release $1.5 million from the existing budget contingency in order to cover operating expenses for the 2010 budget. In addition the board “requests the CEO and his designated staff to closely monitor expenditures and forecasts for FY10“.

See the details for ICANN top staff compensation after the jump.