Feeds

Nominet top brass reject resignation call

And deny calling in Mandelson

Boost IT visibility and business value

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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
Trans-Pacific: Google spaffs cash on FAST undersea packet-flinging
One of 6 backers for new 60 Tbps cable to hook US to Japan
Tech city types developing 'Google Glass for the blind' app
An app and service where other people 'see' for you
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.