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New ICANN CEO is Out of the Blocks with Ambitious Operational Plans

14 September 2012

Los Angeles, California... Fadi Chehadé today officially assumed the position of President and Chief Executive Officer of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). He assumed his position two weeks ahead of his planned start date.

Chehadé's appointment as CEO had been announced on 22 June, though he was not expected to assume his role until 1 October. Chief Operating Officer (COO) Akram Atallah had been serving as the interim CEO and will now reassume his role as COO.

Today Chehadé thanked Atallah for assuming the top spot during the summer and then, during a staff meeting, he explained his plans for the future.

"I have spent the past two months asking myself and many others from all over the Internet community worldwide the same questions," said Chehadé. "How can ICANN work better with its stakeholders to bring all interested parties to the table to debate and agree how to improve the DNS? How can we ensure that all global citizens can share an open Internet which is sustainable and resilient?"

Chehade's strategy puts ICANN's stakeholders at its heart. The organization's staff will be brought together in collaborative teams organized in a global matrix that distributes key functions and leaders across the world to accelerate effective engagement.

Chehadé's leadership team combines deep ICANN experience with fresh perspectives from international executives. Among the changes he announced today:

  • Akram Atallah's role will be expanded to include oversight of Registry and Registrar Services, the new generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) program, Security and other important activities.
  • Tarek Kamel, Senior Advisor to the President of ICANN, who currently leads the development of an Africa strategy, will assume the role of Senior Advisor for Government Affairs, leading all aspects of Government Engagement.
  • Sally Costerton, most recently CEO of Hill & Knowlton Public Relations for Europe, the Middle East and Asia has been tapped to lead the new position of Stakeholder Engagement, a role that will incorporate the communications function.

Both Costerton and Kamel will be based in ICANN's European region and will report directly to the CEO. Their goal is to strengthen ICANN's international engagement at all levels, and to implement the global matrix alongside ICANN's regional vice presidents.

Chehadé said his other direct reports would include:

  • Kurt Pritz, Senior Vice President, who will take on a new role as Chief of Strategy.
  • John Jeffrey, General Counsel and Secretary of the ICANN Board, who will continue in that role.
  • David Olive, Vice President of Policy, who will also continue in his current role.

In a further organizational development, Chehadé announced that Maguy Serad, Senior Director of Contractual Compliance will be promoted to Vice President of Contractual Compliance, with her department reporting directly to the CEO.

"I've spent the summer putting the right team in place – looking deep within ICANN and beyond to find the best mix of talents to help me to fulfill ICANN's mission," said Chehadé. "Frankly I am impressed and humbled by what these diverse leaders bring to the table. I've been fortunate to have great support from the ICANN Board as well as the staff and I know that we will be able to build upon the organization's many achievements."

"The Board has consulted extensively with Fadi through the past couple of months and has spent this week in session with him and his leadership team reviewing his plans," said Dr. Stephen Crocker, ICANN Board Chair. "We are very supportive and will do everything we can to help the ICANN team deliver successfully. "


To download a high resolution photo of Fadi Chehadé, go here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/icann/7419799766/sizes/l/in/set-72157630235659090/

To download high a high resolution photo of Sally Costerton, go here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/icann/7983080007/sizes/l/in/photostream/

To download a high resolution photo of Tarek Kamel, go here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/icann/2998990169/sizes/l/


Brad White
Director of Global Media Affairs
Washington, DC, USA
Tel. +1 202.570.7118

Andrew Robertson
Edelman Public Relations
London, U.K.
Tel. + 44 (7811) 341 945

About ICANN: ICANN's mission is to ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet you have to type an address into your computer - a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers across the world. Without that coordination we wouldn't have one global Internet. ICANN was formed in 1998. It is a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with participants from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet's unique identifiers. ICANN doesn't control content on the Internet. It cannot stop spam and it doesn't deal with access to the Internet. But through its coordination role of the Internet's naming system, it does have an important impact on the expansion and evolution of the Internet. For more information please visit: www.icann.org.