Feeds

Nominet top brass reject resignation call

And deny calling in Mandelson

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

The executives in charge of Nominet, the not-for-profit company responsible for the .uk web address registry, have rejected calls from elected directors to resign and face a vote of confidence from members.

CEO Lesley Cowley told The Register that she and chairman Bob Gilbert would not call a company meeting in response to recent boardroom turmoil. It was up to members to trigger an emergency meeting if they want one, she added, saying "it's business as usual".

Cowley said she still believed she and Gilbert have the support of the majority of Nominet members. "Just because two people are not supportive that's not a basis on which to call a general meeting," she said.

The two people Cowley referred to are non-executive Nominet director Jim Davies and now former non-executive director Angus Hanton. Earlier this week Davies wrote he believed Cowley and Gilbert were mismanaging the company and called for them to quit. He was backed up on Wednesday by Hanton, who resigned his boardroom seat and said the executives should do the same.

The split has exposed deep conflicts around the .uk registry and drawn scrutiny of Nominet's corporate governance from the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR). Last month BERR wrote to the company board asking it to explain why it should be independent from Whitehall and noting that many other national registries are at least part controlled by their government.

Both sides say they would prefer civil servants to keep out of the running of .uk and Nominet has initiated a review of its structure.

Davies' and Hanton's critics have accused them of a deliberate attempt to destabilise the company on behalf on domainers - who buy up generic web address to sell on for profit - which they deny. Cowley said she didn't believe such allegations. "It's an unfortunate public disagreement on future direction," she said.

Jim Davies was elected on his agenda of cutting prices for members, but Hanton has said he resigned because of a specific staff disciplinary process that he believed was being mishandled.

Cowley said an independent person would be appointed next week to carry out the structural review. She specifically denied rumours that executives or anyone within Nominet had approached BERR for help following the election of Jim Davies to the board at May's AGM. She said she knew who had called in the government after members did not, but refused to identify them.

BERR became involved after a proposal at the AGM by the executive to assume powers to appoint unelected non-executive directors to represent the interests on non-members failed to attract enough support.

Cowley rejected further rumours that the executive would like the government to be directly involved in .uk governance, and reaffirmed its commitment to industry self regulation and Nominet's status as a membership organisation, but said: "We are not just here for the members buit for everyone who uses .uk. That is quite a challenging thing to do but that doesn't necessarily mean it's unsustainable in its current form."

Cowley refused to comment on the future of Jim Davies at Nominet. He has refused to sign an undertaking that he will avoid conflicts of interest arising from his work as a solicitor in domain name disputes. "The board will need to consider this further," she said. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
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.