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ICANN chief Paul Twomey has said he will leave the net's domain name regulator at the end of the year.

Today, at its 34th annual public meeting in Mexico City, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers announced that Twomey would not seek another term as president and chief executive when his current three-year contract expires. He has served as boss since 2003.

"Last year, I told the Board that I did not want to renew my contract as President and CEO for another three-year term," Twomey said in a canned statement. "While I am deeply and personally committed to ICANN and its success, I think this is the right time for me to move on to another leadership position in the private or international sectors."

With a canned statement of his own, internet founding father Vint Cerf said: "I can think of no other person who has had more influence on the course of ICANN's evolution than Paul. We owe him a great debt for long and faithful service and I owe him personal thanks for his counsel during my time on the Board. The Board will be challenged to find a worthy and capable successor."

Twomey will depart ICANN just as it starts accepting applications from people interested in buying their very own url suffix. ICANN's plan to roll out who knows how many brand-new generic top-level domains (gTLDs, in ICANN speak) has sparked such controversy, the organization needs some additional time to sort things out.

The effort to augment .com, .edu, and .org with just about anything has run headlong into concerns over trademark, fraud, and worldwide confusion. ®

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