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Beckstrom has been using Twitter (and Facebook) to share quite a bit of information related to the organisation’s inner-workings. While this has been met with a positive reaction by many members of the ICANN community, there are some people within ICANN itself who do not seem to be too happy with this degree of transparency.
In a document which Beckstrom has made available you can find details of the salaries of the top execs in ICANN. The document also includes details on the rationale behind the salaries. According to Beckstrom this is the first time that this much detail has been made available to the public so quickly. Under “normal” circumstances you would have to wait for the annual report ie. 12 months.
Beckstrom’s salary is reported as $750k, with Doug Brent (COO) pulling in $270k.
Beckstrom’s predecessor, Twomey, was paid the same amount, so the changing of the guard has not led to any change in salary levels.
While the news of Beckstrom’s salary has led to criticism from some quarters this is hardly the first time that the salaries of an organisation like ICANN have come under the microscope. In the UK, for example, the salaries of Nominet’s management team has been discussed several times in the past.
The reality, whether you like it or not, is that if you want to attract quality personnel you cannot expect them to work for rates that are significantly lower than the market rate.
As Maria Farrell, formerly of ICANN staff, points out in the comments on DNN, UN staff don’t pay any tax, while ICANN staffers do. She also points out that UN employees get plenty of side-benefits for them and their families.
Needless to say the revelation of the salaries shortly after the ICANN board’s latest minutes mentioned a budget “overrun” have hit a nerve with ICANN’s more vocal critics, such as George Kirikos.
Personally I think that we should be glad that someone like Rod Beckstrom is taking the initiative in sharing the more intimate details. People may not like them, but facts beat rumours every time.