Corporate Leader Fadi Chehadé Named ICANN Head

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The next president and CEO of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) was named today.

Fadi Chehadé, who ICANN called in a press release [pdf] “a leader in the formation of progressive internet enterprises,” was named today at the ICANN Board meeting in Prague, Czech Republic.

ICANN highlighted Chehadé’s international background, stating: “Chehadé, age 50, is a citizen of Lebanon, Egypt and the United States. He was born in Beirut, Lebanon, to Egyptian parents and left the then war-torn country in 1980 at the age of 18. He speaks fluent Arabic, English, French and Italian.”

But his professional and educational background is US-centric, and he lives in Los Angeles, the location of ICANN headquarters. He has been serving as CEO of Vocado LLC, a US firm that ICANN said “provides next-generation cloud-based administrative software for educational institutions.” He also has a track record with IBM, including as general manager of IBM’s Global Technology Services in the Middle East and North Africa. Earlier he was founder and CEO of RosettaNet, an e-business firm with transactions of over $100 billion per year.

Current ICANN President and CEO Rod Beckstrom will leave at the end of his contract on 1 July. Chehadé will join ICANN by 1 October, and in between Chief Operating Officer Akram Atallah will serve as CEO.

ICANN, which has technical oversight of the internet domain name system, has struggled in recent years to manage its relationship with the United States, which continues to have an inside relationship with the internet, and the rest of world, which would like to further internationalize control of the internet. ICANN has just completed an application period for new generic top-level domains on the internet, collecting nearly 2,000 applications and some criticism from intellectual property rights holders.

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