The current CEO of ICANN made the announcement on 16 August 2011 his intention to leave the corporation in July 2012, at the end of his current contract. This was quickly followed by an official announcement on the ICANN website. Some concern was expressed about the way the search for a CEO had been conducted in 2009, a process which many consider had not been transparent, nor a model of good governance within the ICANN Board itself.
In this context of fairly wide concern for the future of ICANN, a group of ICANNers, (in alphabetic order)
AIZU Izumi, from Japan;
Manal ISMAIL, from Egypt;
Yrjö LÄNSIPURO, from Finland;
Evan LEIBOVITCH, from Canada;
Alejandro PISANTY, from Mexico;
Nii QUAYNOR, from Ghana;
Njeri RIONGE, from Kenya;
Carlton SAMUELS, from Jamaica and US;
Jean-Jacques SUBRENAT, from France; and,
XUE Hong, from China,
reflected on the situation, and on 17 September 2011, sent the following letter to Dr. Stephen D. Crocker, Chair of the Board of Directors of ICANN.
The letter was widely circulated in the community and more people are showing their support. For example, two persons from North America have asked to add them as co-signatories.
The content of the Open Letter is below. The Chinese version is attached as well.
“As a group of friends of ICANN from various parts of the world, we would be grateful if you would share this letter with your fellow Directors.
The President & CEO of ICANN has announced that he will be leaving this corporation in July 2012, when his current contract expires. At a time when ICANN has to deal with other important challenges, its Board of Directors will have the additional task of selecting his successor.
In any corporation, selecting a CEO is one of the most crucial responsibilities incumbent upon the Board. In ICANN, with its distinctive multi-stakeholder structure and volunteer Board, the importance of such a choice cannot be overstated, especially at this stage in the development of the Internet and of ICANN itself. The progress made by ICANN so far must be further consolidated. At the same time, upholding the value of the multi-stakeholder model, which some are actively seeking to jeopardize, requires continuity of purpose as well as renewed imagination. Under the guidance and oversight of the Board, the next CEO will have the duty not only of leading, but also of strengthening ICANN.
The selection of a new CEO, shortly after the completion of the first Accountability and Transparency Review, provides the Board with an excellent opportunity to demonstrate that it is now fully equipped and prepared to implement all the ATRT recommendations, perhaps even to go beyond that. In the spirit of these recommendations, the Board of ICANN should adopt a more transparent and accountable method for the selection and appointment of the next CEO.
Candidates should be sought through a transparent process (appropriate advertising in global and regional media; call for tenders in order to choose an external consultant, if one is needed). The Board should remain on top of the process, so that all its members are fully informed by the time a decision is called for. Failing to abide by these basic rules of good governance would expose Board members to the risk of eschewing one of their chief responsibilities toward the ICANN community, which is the duty of care. While the confidentiality of some Board deliberations sets understandable constraints, it is possible and desirable, within those bounds, to carry out the selection process in an open and transparent manner, so as to make it irrefutable. It is also important that the next CEO be chosen before the end of the predecessor’s current term, and be ready to begin without delay.
These improvements would be in line with ICANN’s committments. They would also send a strong signal of confidence and clarity to ICANN’s worldwide community, while at the same time consolidating the foundation upon which it aspires to build further global partnerships for the Internet and its users.
With best wishes to you and the Board of Directors, we remain
IZU Izumi 自日本; Manal ISMAIL 自埃及; Yrjö LÄNSIPURO 自芬兰; Evan Leibovitch 自加拿大；Alejandro PISANTY 自墨西哥;Nii QUAYNOR 自加纳; Njeri RIONGE 自肯尼亚; Carlton Samuels自牙买加和美国； Jean-Jacques SUBRENAT 自法国; 薛虹自中国