Peter Dengate Thrush and Antony Van Couvering discuss future of TLDH.
Yesterday former ICANN Chairman Peter Dengate Thrush announced he was joining Top Level Domain Holdings (parent company of Minds + Machines) as Executive Chairman.
I just got off the phone with Dengate Thrush, who explained why he chose Top Level Domain Holdings.
“It was a no brainer for me,” said Dengate Thrush about choosing to work with TLDH. He thinks TLDH is most equipped to face the next phase of the new top level domain name process.
TLDH has multiple business models which make it an attractive business, he said. They plan to apply for new TLDs themselves as well as be a service provider for applicants. This generates multiple revenue sources. He also likes that TLDH is a public company, which means people who can’t otherwise invest in new TLDs can invest in the upside through its stock.
Dengate Thrush said he’s not sure why there’s criticism of him joining a new TLD company shortly after leaving the board and voting to approve the new TLD program.
“There are no provisions that stop it, so I’m not sure why people would be raising it [as an issue],” he said. He points out that ICANN’s board doesn’t receive compensation and there are existing board members already working for companies that may profit from new TLDs.
He said the process for new TLDs has been completely transparent. “It’s not like I left ICANN with any sort of insider knowledge of the guidebook,” he said.
His predecessor, Vinton Cerf, took a paid position on VeriSign’s advisory board after stepping down.
Minds + Machines CEO Antony Van Couvering is no doubt excited to have Dengate Thrush on board.
“He’s modest about his achievements but they’re very stellar,” said Van Couvering. “It’s been great here in London talking to investors and analysts having him here.”
When I asked Van Couvering how long he’s been trying to snag Dengate Thrush, he said “about ten years”.
But of course he didn’t start discussions until after Dengate Thrush stepped down from his role as Chairman at ICANN.