PRAGUE, June 22 The organisation that oversees
Internet domain names has appointed a new chief executive, who
will have to take on some of the major challenges facing the
non-profit body, including controversy over expansion of its
Fadi Chehade will start his new job at ICANN (the Internet
Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) in October. He is
currently CEO at Vocado, a company that provides cloud-based
administrative software for educational institutions.
Chehade told reporters in Prague, where ICANN holds its 44th
public meeting this weekend, that he would pursue
consensus-building among all the stakeholders involved in
affairs affecting the internet.
"Multi-stakeholder models require patience ... but I believe
this process is nearly sacred," Chehade said.
The 50-year-old, who has also worked for IBM, is
replacing Rod Beckstrom, who is leaving ICANN at the end of his
three-year contract in July.
ICANN has suffered setbacks in its most ambitious internet
expansion project so far that will allow companies to set up a
website with almost any so-called top-level domains -- the code
that comes after the period in a website address. Instead of
.com or .org. new ones could be, for example, .prague or .apple.
It has caused controversy because many brand owners felt
they would have to take part in the expensive project or risk
rivals bagging domains that could be mistaken for their own.
The United Nations, the International Monetary Fund and 26
other organisations asked ICANN last year to make sure domain
names such as .un could not be seized under the new system.
ICANN says it has built in safeguards against such so-called
Another hiccup in the plan came in April when a software
glitch exposed sensitive details of applications for the new
Chief Operating Officer Akram Attalah said on Friday he
believed the address expansion project had cleared the biggest
Chehade, born to Egyptian parents in Lebanon, where he lived
until escaping the civil war there at the age of 18, has led a
number of IT companies in the United States.