Feeds

Willie Black resigns as Nominet chairman

My work here is done

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

Dr Willie Black has resigned as the chairman of UK domain registry Nominet, citing the need for new challenges now that the company has settled after nine years of extraordinary growth. He wil leave on 8 December.

The decision has come as a surprise to many, for whom Dr Black is the .uk Internet domain. He founded Nominet in 1996 as a private, not-for-profit company, limited by guarantee with just three staff. Nine years later, Nominet has registered over 3.6 million domains - making it one of the biggest domains in the world - has 130 staff and boasts a turnover of £10 million.

In an official statement, Dr Black explained: "The challenge nine years ago was to set up a stable registry for the .uk domain name space. I feel satisfied that Nominet now has a strong and effective senior management team, financial stability, provides excellent customer service, and has gained substantial respect both from the industry and from government. Now that this has been achieved, I feel that it is the right time for me to move on and apply the knowledge I have gained to new challenges elsewhere."

Nominet's managing director Lesley Cowley reiterated Willie Black's central role, mentioning the initial challenge of setting the company up, and then dealing with the hypergrowth that soon followed. She told us that with new systems and a capable senior management team in place (of which she is one), that things were relatively calm and "understandably Willie decided to take a bit of a rest".

According to the statement, Dr Black plans to take up a number of non-executive director positions, although these have not been made public and Ms Cowley wouldn't expand. "But with his excellent skills, I am sure the phone will be ringing," she told us.

Dr Black is a key figure in the Internet. He has been involved in the DNS since its earliest days in the 1970s. He helped develop email, and in the early 90s, ran the Joint Academic Network (JANET) in the UK. He was, until recently, head of European registry organisation Centr, and is hugely respected across the world. He is a passionate advocate of not-for-profit domain organisations and has been a persistant and constructive critic of Internet overseeing organisation ICANN. "People at ICANN will probably miss him and his notable contributions," Cowley said, although she doubted that it will see the end of him.

As for the chairman role, Cowley told us the exact process has yet to be decided but that the company is looking for a capable successor to lead the board, devise strategy and act as a figurehead for the company. There is likely to be a public advertisement for the job to which she said she expected lots of highly experienced people to be interested in taking.

According to Nominet's 2003 accounts, the highest paid director - which we will assume is the chairman - received, including pension, £137,457. Not a bad wage, but the real attraction to the Nominet chairman job will be the kudos and the chance to be right at the heart of the Internet as it goes through the next revolution to become an integral part of society's life. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's iPhone 6 first-day sales are MEANINGLESS, mutters analyst
Big weekend queues only represent fruity firm's supply
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Bill Gates, drugs and the internet: Top 10 Larry Ellison quotes
'I certainly never expected to become rich ... this is surreal'
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
EMC, HP blockbuster 'merger' shocker comes a cropper
Stand down, FTC... you can put your feet up for a bit
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.