ICANN’s current CEO and President Fadi Chehadé has announced today that he will be departing the organisation in March 2016. He will be moving back to industry, though it will be outside the domain / DNS industry.
On a call this afternoon with members of the ICANN community Chehadé reassured people that he was going to be actively engaged in his current role for the remainder of his tenure
The last time that ICANN’s CEO quit the organisation ended up with an interim CEO for several months. How long it will take ICANN to find a suitable replacement to Fadi Chehadé is unclear. The job comes with:
- international travel
- a good salary package including benefits
- managing growing staff of over 300 people spread across the globe
- budget of several million dollars per annum
Of course the role is very public and quite high profile. The current IANA transition process means that there is more of a spotlight being shone on the organisation and its officers than normal.
Here’s the official announcement:
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today announced that President and CEO Fadi Chehadé has informed the Board he will be concluding his tenure in March 2016 to move into a new career in the private sector (outside the Domain Name Industry).
At the request of the Board, Chehadé will be available to work closely with ICANN after March 2016 to support the transition to a new leader, as well as to advise the Board on any issue they require including the implementation of the IANA Stewardship Transition from the US Government to ICANN and the technical operating community.
“I want to thank Fadi for his strong commitment,” said Dr. Stephen Crocker, Chair of the Board of Directors. I am very confident that with Fadi’s continued leadership and ICANN’s very experienced management team who have the breadth to ensure that ICANN continues to manage its key responsibilities effectively, that the organization’s work will proceed smoothly.”
“I am deeply committed to working with the Board, our staff, and our community to continue ICANN’s mission as we still have much to accomplish,” said Chehadé. “During the remaining 10 months of my tenure, it’s business-as-usual. My priority remains to continue strengthening ICANN’s operations and services to the global community.”
So why is he leaving?
It’s obvious that he has another job lined up, though a 10 month lead in to taking up his new post is quite long.
One could argue that the timing is not coincidental.
With a departure in March 2016 his last official act could be finalising the IANA transition. Of course if the transition fails to happen, for whatever reason, then he probably wouldn’t want to stay in office. If it proceeds then he can move on with a feeling of accomplishment.
Another reason might be that he’s realised that ICANN’s internal workings simply do not suit him. Going from a position where the CEO can take the lead to one where they are in many ways subservient to the “community” is probably a very challenging transition.
Or maybe he’s simply burnt out.
Since joining ICANN in 2012 Fadi Chehadé has probably clocked up hundreds of thousands of miles. His travel schedule has been exhausting and must have placed a strain on him physically and mentally, without mentioning strains on his personal life.
Of course this all just supposition.
In any case I wish him luck for the future and hope that ICANN is able to find a suitable replacement in a timely fashion.