April 30, 2009
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For the past year, the company that runs the UK’s Internet registry has been the unlikely location for a corporate soap opera, complete with scandals, villains, twists and turns, allegations of corruption, resignations, grand plans thwarted at the last minute and some nasty in-fighting that had left people alternatively amazed, entertained and worried.
The dust finally began to settle in January this year when a second director resigned (loudly) from not-for-profit Nominet and ever since the management team has been frantically trying to tidy up. In an effort to avoid the same problems emerging further down the line, a big spring clean was ordered and an independent expert brought in to assess what had gone wrong and what needed to be done.
Last week, that expert – Professor Bob Garratt – delivered a surprisingly frank and blunt assessment. In it, he told Nominet – and Nominet’s members – that they had to sort out a list of issues, and they had to sort them out fast.
In effect, he gave Nominet three months to live. If the warring tribes can’t find a settlement before then, Garratt warns, the UK government is going to step in and Nominet as it has existed since 1996 will cease to be.
It now rests on the shoulders of Nominet’s CEO, Lesley Cowley, to make enormous progress within an extremely short period of time, and persuade groups that were until recently at war with another to come together and rebuild the organization.
Here’s what needs to be done and how Cowley says she is going to do it.
January 22, 2009
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Yet another extraordinary statement has come out of Nominet – the .uk registry owner – today. This time, the chairman Bob Gilbert lambastes a “number of false allegations” made in a resignation letter from former director Jim Davies.
The letter was posted on the Nominet members’ private mailing list, nom-steer, and contains “sensitive and confidential board and HR matters”. The letter provides details of an executive compensation package, accusing the CEO of unfairly profiting from the non-profit organization, and also alleges that the previous head of IT – a very nice bloke called Jay Daley – was kicked out the company for raising a concern about the CEO’s behaviour. This is just the latest dispatch in a particular nasty fight at the heart of Nominet.