ICANN CEO To End Tenure

By Paul Rosenzweig
Thursday, May 21, 2015, 11:54 AM

Fadi Chehade, the CEO of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), has announced his intention to step down, effective March 2016.  The United States is in the midst of a transition that will, when completed, give up its contractual control of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).  That authority is currently conducted by ICANN under contract to the Department of Commerce.  Current plans are for Commerce to end the contract in September 2015, and let ICANN manage the IANA function on its own, though the most recent timeline I've seen suggests that the transition won't occur until later in 2015 or early 2016. It is essential that the transition occur in a way that fosters enhanced accountability and transparency at ICANN.   Though I'm happy to take Chehade at his word, it is at least a little puzzling that the CEO would step down at a time of such internal transitional tumult.  At a minimum, it will make the transition harder to accomplish in a timely and non-disruptive manner.