ICANN to lose CEO, key staff

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ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

The Internet Corp for Assigned Names and Numbers is looking for a new CEO and chief policy officer, following the announcement yesterday of two imminent resignations. The departures come as the organization, which partly regulates the domain name industry, undergoes a radical structural overhaul.

Next March, 64-year-old CEO Stuart Lynn will return to the retirement he postponed last year to take the helm of ICANN, while chief policy officer Andrew McLaughlin will resign in July. ICANN said McLaughlin will stick around part-time to help ICANN's current reform process.

"I immensely enjoy my position and working with my colleagues and the community to accomplish ICANN's mission," Lynn, who was recruited on a two-year contract, said. "But this is a 7 day-a-week, 24 hours-per-day job and I now need to pay attention to my personal life and health."

McLaughlin will return to Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet & Society, where he was originally recruited from shortly after ICANN formed in late 1998. An ICANN spokesperson said McLaughlin will not be immediately replaced.

It also emerged over the weekend that Joe Sims of Jones Day Reavis & Pogue will cease to work as ICANN's outside counsel. A controversial figure, Sims has frequently been accused by ICANN conspiracy theorists of having too much influence on deal making.

"He and his law firm would be phasing down their ICANN activities as ICANN moves into a more stable phase of its existence," said an ICANN spokesperson. She added: "We won't be looking for a new [chief policy officer] until the reform process is completed."

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