Internet agency's CEO will depart
NEW YORK - Paul Twomey, chief executive of the Internet's key oversight agency since 2003, will step down later this year after a successor is named.
Twomey, 47, said he declined a three-year contract renewal with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, for fear of becoming "Mr. ICANN." Leaving now, he said, would let him take another leadership job in the private or international sector "and really make a difference in another organization."
The news came yesterday as ICANN opened regular meetings in Mexico City.
As chief executive and president of ICANN, Twomey has day-to-day responsibilities for an organization tasked by the US government with overseeing policies on domain names, the Internet addresses ending in ".com" and other suffixes crucial for computers to find websites and route e-mail.
Twomey's contract expires July 1, but he said he will stay on until the end of the year to help the yet-unnamed successor with transition. The decision comes as ICANN prepares to simplify procedures for adding domain name suffixes as alternatives to ".com," a move likely to spawn hundreds or thousands of new Internet addresses in the coming years. ICANN also is close to allowing entire Internet addresses to be in languages besides English for the first time. Twomey said they are near enough to completion on the projects for a leadership change to make sense.
Twomey said he had no specific plans but would consider other positions involving the Internet or cybersecurity. An Australian, Twomey is the organization's third chief executive since its formation in 1998.