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NTIA chief takes jab at Donuts hiring Atallah

Redl suggests cooling off period between ICANN employment and working for domain companies.

David Redl, who heads the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration, took an apparent jab at the outgoing President of ICANN’s Global Domains Division in comments today.

In his prepared comments, Redl stated:

While the community has greatly improved ICANN’s accountability through the IANA stewardship transition process, there are still improvements to be made.

As one example, we need safeguards to ensure that ICANN staff and leadership are not only grounded ethically in their professional actions at ICANN, but also in their actions when they seek career opportunities outside of ICANN.

One potential fix could be “cooling off periods” for ICANN employees that accept employment with companies involved in ICANN activities and programs. This is an ethical way to ensure that conflicts of interest or appearances of unethical behavior are minimized.

The timing of the comments suggests that this is in reference to Akram Atallah leaving ICANN to run new top level domain company Donuts. Donuts hired Atallah after former ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé’s private equity group acquired Donuts.

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  1. Chad folk says

    Sounds like a preplanned scheme from the beginning. Let’s do this new tld offering, make hundreds of millions for our rich members and then go buy the industry when they learn 98% of the names are crap. It’s like what Casios do when they spend a billion to build it then file bankruptcy only to have same owners With a new name buy the company back for pennies. ICANN is a scam, now I said it and same will happen with the .com pricing as it’s under the table payoffs and 8 guys drinking whisky making the decisions. No bid, all bullshit control people.

  2. Jennie-Marie Larsen says

    Akram was one of the chief advocates for the new TLDs from the start of the program. His role at ICANN limited him from using the budget to really change and influence consumer behavior towards adopting the new names. (When everyone counted on ICANN to do just that). His new role at Donuts will not. He will have the critical mass necessary in the Donuts names portfolio to show SMBs, brands and consumers how powerful strategic online naming is as a marketing tool. And now he’ll have the budget to express that vision. Watch him use it to help the entire industry. There’s no conflict here, only opportunity for all new TLDS and domains in general.

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