Feeds

Willie Black resigns as Nominet chairman

My work here is done

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.