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ICANN President to Step Down

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ICANN president and CEO Paul Twomey


ICANN president and CEO Paul Twomey will step down at the end of the year, the organization announced. Twomey, who has led the organization since 2003, told the ICANN board that he does not want to renew his contract for another three-year term. Twomey's departure comes at a time when ICANN is moving away from long-time ties with the U.S. government. ICANN's memorandum of understanding with the U.S. Department of Commerce expires in September, and ICANN leaders say they want to eliminate the perception that it is controlled by the U.S. government.

ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) also is in the midst of a controversial effort to allow the sale of additional generic top-level domains (gTLDs), which suffered a setback in February when public backlash forced ICANN to push back its projected time line for taking applications for new gTLDs from September to December. Several companies complained that new gTLDs would require them to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy domain names on those gTLDs to protect their brand names.

Several Internet leaders praised Twomey's leadership at ICANN. "During his tenure, ICANN has become a stronger organization and, as a key element of the Internet ecosystem, has ensured the security and stability of the domain name system," says Internet Society CEO Lynn St. Armour.

From IDG News Service
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