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Nominet boss quits after rough patch at helm of dot-UK registry

Lesley Cowley in not all that surprising exit

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The boss of troubled dot-UK registry Nominet has quit her job.

Lesley Cowley has resigned from the company after 15 years of service. She said that it was "now the right time to move on".

Her decision to walk away from the not-for-profit outfit comes after a difficult period for Nominet.

In the past year, it has battled with domain name registrars who failed to halt, or at least freeze, Oxford-based Nominet's unpopular second-level namespaces plan.

Within weeks, companies will be able to bid for the shorter domain names.

Separately, in June last year, Nominet sacked its chief commercial officer Jill Finney – who had been deputy chief at health watchdog the Care Quality Commission – after just a few months in the more than £100,000-per-year post, following an alleged cover-up about mother and baby deaths in the National Health Service.

She had been brought in to build on Nominet's "strengths" to manage "route-to-market, including relationships with channel partners" and to oversee marketing and communication. But Finney lasted just three months before the NHS scandal forced her out.

The Nominet board's chair Rennie Fritchie chimed in by saying that the firm had performed well under Cowley's tenure, having apparently gifted it with "a well-deserved reputation for excellent service, and Lesley has played a leading role within the internet sector and wider IT world".

Her leaving date is on the 9 July and the search is now on for a replacement CEO.

Nominet said that, until a suitable candidate has been found, the company will operate without a boss and instead be run by the chief technology officer and the top commercial officer, who will work alongside Fritchie. ®

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