Board Extension of ICANN President’s Contract without Consultation questioned

The ICANN Board has extended by two years the contract of President and Chief Executive Officer Fadi Chehadé. It will now run until 30 June 2017. Chehadé’s base salary also will increase by 12.5 percent.

The reasons given for the contract extension according to the Board resolution is that “

” this action will help ensure the stability in leadership that is important for ICANN,” said Board Chair Dr. Stephen Crocker. “It also shows the support and confidence that the Board has in Fadi.”

This could be welcomed by the board for a person who is been seen as tolerant to the boards internal decisions, Chehadé’s term has been spent handing the new gTLDS which has had a fair share of controversies and hitches that will continue for a while, he has also taken a trajectory of taking leadership in the discussions of ICANN transition a matter not well received by most people who view ICANN as always making its own decisions without public input.

Some of the reactions to the two year extension has not been received with total jubilation, some of the known leaders in the internet governance industry have questioned the place of the community in the decisions below are some tweets on the announcement

and another tweet

Such comments indicate the continued call for accountability that ICANN is yet to find away to effectively manage to appease the growing concerns that ICANN cannot manage its own internal issues and needs external oversight. Such comments have been raised even at the senate with US Senators John Thune and Marco Rubio, writing to the Chairman of the ICANN Board of Directors, Dr. Stephen Crocker with specific recommendations, on the the IANA transition and ICANN accountability. Read Full Letter (pdf)

Speaking on the contract extension, Chehadé said

I’m both humbled and honored by the Board’s trust in me to lead this important organization at such a critical time,….. I’m glad to be able to expend my energy and passion towards ICANN’s noble mission and great public responsibility. With focus, diligence and hard work, we will continue to evolve ICANN into a mature, global organization.”

Given that, he has to take bold leadership in admitting ICANNs accountability doldrums, may be be more aggressive on the board like his predecessor Rod Beckstrom

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