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Marina del Rey, California USA (22 May 2003) – Louis Touton announced today that he will leave the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in late June. Mr. Touton came to ICANN in 1999 as its first employee and has since then served as ICANN's Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary.
Dr. Paul Twomey, President and CEO of ICANN, observed, "Mr. Touton joined ICANN in November 1999 with the intent of managing the organization's legal affairs through its start-up phase. However, ICANN grew so rapidly that his responsibilities were almost immediately expanded to managing the organization’s operations as well."
"He played an essential role in the global expansion and establishment of ICANN and I feel the Internet community owes Mr. Touton a debt of gratitude for his extensive contributions to the establishment and operations of ICANN."
Mr. Touton said of his departure, "After almost four years with ICANN, I feel the organization has achieved the stability and global recognition that will allow it to fulfil its mission. It now has the appropriate resources in place. The reform process is nearly concluded. I feel that I have accomplished what I set out to do."
As a result of the planned evolution of the organization, along with Mr. Touton's decision to leave, ICANN has commenced an organizational restructure that will be carefully managed over the next four to six months. The proposed structure has been designed to take ICANN into the future in a way that allows the organization to continue to achieve its mission, improve its performance, and meet stakeholder needs.
In the first steps to improve ICANN delivery, Dr. Twomey announced the creation of two positions to replace the one held by Mr. Touton. The first role is that of General Counsel to ICANN, and the second will be the Vice President of Business Operations.
Dr. Twomey said of the new positions, "It is expected that the new candidates will provide ICANN with fresh perspectives, energy, and enthusiasm to make substantial contributions to the rapidly growing needs of the organization."
After Mr. Touton's departure and while the external search for both roles is underway, Esmé Smith of Jones Day, ICANN's external legal counsel, will temporarily serve as Counsel.
Dr. Twomey signalled that Mr. Touton had played a key role in the design of the organization in preparation for its next phase of operation, and will remain associated with the organization through the early steps in this transition.