Minds and Machines (Top Level Domain Holdings) is one of the publicly traded companies involved in the TLD space.
The company trades on the UK stock market with the symbol: LSE:MMX
Earlier this morning news broke that the company’s board had voted unanimously to remove company founder and CEO Antony Van Couvering.
Van Couvering broke the story himself in a blog post over on CircleID with the unambiguous title of “I Got Fired”. Meanwhile M&M’s investor relations site provides a less emotional update on the changing of the guard.
Kevin over at DomainIncite spoke to the new CEO of Minds & Machines Toby Hall this morning, so his post is well worth reading. Hall apparently will be more channel focussed ie. he’ll be more interested in working with registrars than his predecessor.
So what went happened internally in Minds & Machines? We’ll probably never know. But there will be quite a bit of speculation as to what led to the removal of Van Couvering.
The fact that the company is publicly traded would suggest that it’s going to be very focussed on investor return, which could be the cause. Whether any lack of return at this juncture is Van Couvering’s fault or not is irrelevant – as CEO he’d get the glory, or the criticism depending on how the company fared. However Van Couvering was one of the more vocal and bullish people who pushed for the launch of new TLDs. He’s now (almost) accepting that the demand wasn’t as high as they’d predicted:
Demand for new gTLDs hasn’t been what anyone expected. Many single-TLD registries, though not all, are hurting
And not all the applicants or projects worked out as well as some would have liked. Anyone remember .food?
So where will Van Couvering end up? Personally I have no idea, but I don’t think we’ve seen the last of him.