back to article Nominet sets the date for extraordinary meeting where members could fire CEO

The .uk registry operator Nominet has opened voting on an extraordinary measure that would see its CEO fired and non-elected members booted off its board. “We will be a holding a virtual Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) at 15:00hrs (GMT) on Monday, 22 March 2021 to vote on a proposed resolution to remove five members of the …

  1. don't you hate it when you lose your account

    Fixed the errors

    “We would lose our most self serving leaders. The instability and damage they caused reduced our ability to retain or attract the highly-skilled staff we need to run the service our members rely on. There is a real risk that Government stakeholders will wake up and see Nominet’s governance model is fit for purpose: placing our future jobs at risk and ensuring the futer success of .UK.”

    1. Lon24

      Re: Fixed the errors

      Breaking news. Zen, possibly the UK's most stable ISP nukes Nominet's instablity arguement by coming out in support of the EGM resolution.

      If it's a rollout of what the UK internet industry has declared - the Directors should be already be packing their bags if they felt they should be representing our industry.

      Not the mention resorting to the Putin/Lukashenko school of democratic engagement in their misleading EGM voting form. The vote is actually run by Civica Election Services formerly known as Electoral Reform Services. Don't they have an obligation to ensure the vote is fair and open?

      A Nominet Member

  2. msknight

    Would post a video....

    "Cryyyyyy me a riverrrrrr....."

    1. nematoad

      Re: Would post a video....

      "Government stakeholders will question whether Nominet’s governance model is fit for purpose: "

      With any other government this would have already taken place and the leeches currently in office would have been tossed out.

      As it is, our present overlords have no interest in upsetting the apple-cart of their friends and neighbours running Nominet. Nothing will be done from the regulatory side and the members will have to do this on their own.

      1. boblongii

        Re: Would post a video....

        You have very high hopes for "any other government".

        1. Intractable Potsherd

          Re: Would post a video....

          I read it as "any competent government" - still in the range of aerobatic porcine activity...

  3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    I wonder whether the terms of the notice take them into territory where a complaint to Companies House might result in an investigation.

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      Upon what legal basis would Companies House launch an investigation? As so far as I can see they barely have the power to force people to file their accounts.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I wish you every success in finding the "complain about corporate governance" bit of the CH web site. Once you do, please submit a complaint and tell us how you get on.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. AW-S

        Statutory obligations

        Companies House has a statutory obligation to make public certain information about companies and their officers.

        If you believe that is wrong you need to speak to your MP and get the law changed.

        1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

          Re: Statutory obligations

          Law has already been changed. Companies Act 2006 allows the officers' private addresses to be withheld and a service address to be made public instead.

          1. Anonymous Coward

            Re: Statutory obligations

            If you are going to assert something, why not actually quote your source:


            "(a)in the case of a director, in the company's register of directors and register of directors' residential addresses (see sections 162 to 166);"

            This leads to:


            "163 Particulars of directors to be registered: individuals

            (1)A company's register of directors must contain the following particulars in the case of an individual—

            (a)name and any former name;

            (b)a service address;"


            "(5) A person's service address may be stated to be “The company's registered office”."

            1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

              Re: Statutory obligations

              That wasn't my source - I've half finished an LLM. But well done, you use google very well.

  4. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

    We would lose our most experienced leaders.

    Yes, that's the entire point - it's what they're experienced in that worries people.

  5. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Quandary or not?

    "... prompting some members to ask what would the result would be if they selected the chair as a proxy and then expressly instructed him to vote to fire himself."

    It's perfectly normal to appoint Chairpersons as proxy but they would have to follow the instructions of those who appointed them, or be in breach of their duty as proxy (a possible infringement of company legislation). However, according to Gateley "it becomes important for the company secretary to oversee the process to ensure the chair is voting in the way the shareholders have instructed."

    I'd love to watch...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I can see the Twitter updates already...

      "They kept finding ballots under the table".

      "The voting machines (what do you mean there weren't any?) kept changing the votes".

      "The lame stream media are spreading fake news".

      "You should all go to the meeting and take control".

    2. MrBanana

      Re: Quandary or not?

      I'd vote for giving Jackie Weaver the chair, she took no nonsense in the Handforth Parish Council meeting.

      1. rg287

        Re: Quandary or not?


        Oh wait, turns out whoever holds the ban-hammer holds the authority.

  6. Lucien Taylor

    Where’s Nominet’s business continuity plan?

    Nominet boasts about their stability and security capabilities. Their constitution allows for the sacking of the board by its members. Do they have professional business continuity plans for such events - yes or no?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Where’s Nominet’s business continuity plan?

      Without trying to sound antagonistic towards senior management, if you took the typical bus scenario considered in disaster planning (where members of staff get run over by a bus) then how many organisations with 150 staff would collapse if every board member was simultaneously run over by a bus?

      At that scale and level of seniority then the job should be strategic planning and managing managers. If they all got run over at our place then should an event suddenly occur then we'd nominally lack people to write new plans to deal with the problem and we'd continue with the existing plans.

      And this ignores the actual reality where (probably operationally more expedient) decisions would just be made by the next level of management down who are effectively the top level of business as usual management.

      Since Nominet has a monopoly they don't really have to worry about somebody else undercutting their business plan and endangering the company so a lack of directors for an unspecified period would hardly be a disaster in any case.

      1. TimMaher Silver badge

        Re: Where’s Nominet’s business continuity plan?

        An we put them all on a bus and chuck it over a cliff?

  7. DJV Silver badge

    Boo hoo...

    Fuck off...

  8. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    “no credible alternative plan has been put forward”

    That sentence was not finished. It should read : “no credible alternative plan to ensure the current Board's lavish lifestyle has been put forward”.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    “Approval of this resolution would plunge the organisation into the unknown,”

    He meant to say, in plain English:

    "Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know."

    1. Ochib

      Re: “Approval of this resolution would plunge the organisation into the unknown,”

      There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know.

      1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

        Re: “Approval of this resolution would plunge the organisation into the unknown,”

        Aha. I spot the Donald Rumsfeld** theory of knowledge:

        Known Knowns: things that we know we know.

        Known unknowns: things that we would like to know but currently do not

        Unknown unknowns: things that we are unaware we could know.

        But that model is incomplete, there are also

        Unknown knowns: things that we are unaware we know:

        When Terry Pratchett was writing his Discworld* series he decided not to draw a map of the city Ankh-Morpork as otherwise he would be pestered by fans writing in telling ham that you couldn't get from the Broken Drum pub to Vetinari's Patrician Palace via short street because on the map ... So he didn't draw a map despite lots of people asking for one.

        Then Terry Brookes (I think it was him) went through the books and drew one, and it was consistent. Despite never drawing a map, Sir Terry had a map in his head. He knew Ankh-Morpork's street plan even though he thought he didn't.

        *Brilliant, you can start at pretty much any book except 'The Light Fantastic', which is basically the second half to 'The Colour Of Magic'.

        **Former US Secretary of Defense.

        1. David 132 Silver badge

          Re: “Approval of this resolution would plunge the organisation into the unknown,”

          ...otherwise he would be pestered by fans writing in telling ham that you couldn't get from the Broken Drum pub to Vetinari's Patrician Palace via short street because on the map...

          To which the obvious response would be that the University's magical field leaks out into the surrounding area (for example, the Unreal Estate) and it's therefore not unknown for streets or whole neighborhoods to reconfigure themselves overnight...

          Presumably Sir Pterry thought such a pat, cop-out solution beneath his dignity though?

  10. katrinab Silver badge

    "There is a real risk that Government stakeholders will question whether Nominet’s governance model is fit for purpose"

    I wish it were more than just a risk. But then, their modus operandi fits in perfectly with the way our current shower of incompetents do things in Westminster.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No credible alternative plan has been put forward.”

    I think a credible alternative plan is fairly obvious: scrape the shit off the floor, then scrub and scrub, until you think the bad smell is gone. How's that for a credible plan?

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: No credible alternative plan has been put forward.”

      How's that for a credible plan?

      I'd say it is a nice start. I would recommend torching after scrubbing, more scrubbing because of the resulting soot, followed by scrubbing with bleach and finished with FOOF.

      1. Ochib

        Re: No credible alternative plan has been put forward.”

        FOOF is Satan’s kimchi

        1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: No credible alternative plan has been put forward.”

          In that case Hell must be extremely cold.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Scottish Play

    Here comes their Birnam Wood.

  13. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Pick an option

    We are fighting tooth an nail to keep our jobs because:

    A) We think enough voters are ignorant enough to leave us in charge.

    B) Our reputations are so awful no-one will hire us.

    C) If anyone else sees the company bank statements we will need some really good lawyers.

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: Pick an option

      C) If anyone else sees the company bank statements we will need some really good lawyers and we won't even be able to pay cheap lawyers.

      FTFY ;)

  14. Chris Evans

    It would be a great precedent if they succeed

    I really hope they succeed, not only because it is appropriate for Nominet but it should also make a few other organisations realise they must act better.


  15. jonathan keith

    The benefits of hindsight

    What a shame that Nominet didn't have the foresight to invest in a good crisis and reputation management business when they were firehosing all that cash around.

  16. TimMaher Silver badge


    Not Only Money, I Need Extra Time.

    Perhaps somebody should involve the minister at the head of the DCMS?

    Oh wait... that’s Oliver Dowden. Never mind.

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: NOMINET

      Send Baroness Harding, she'd soon sort it all out.

      1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

        Re: NOMINET

        And you'll end with GCHQ officially in charge

        1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: NOMINET

          That will only officially change anything.

  17. Franco


    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Commercial activity

    Commercial activity with it’s largest members should be scrutinised in the coming months. It is well known that contacts with large member are increased before important events such as elections. If Godaddy wants to have any real respect in the industry they would abstain & not use the same old BS that 123-Reg use to use ‘we are voting on behalf of our customers’.....

    Purchasing the support from large members is one of the branches that is rotten & needs to be cut off.

    1. Franco

      Re: Commercial activity

      I wouldn't worry about 123-reg's vote, they'll have fucked their own DNS so they can't get online to vote anyway.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  19. Alan Brown Silver badge

    History does repeat

    Why am I minded of the DOMAINZ debacle in late 1990s New Zealand?

  20. Sanford Olson

    Hope they toss the whole board out.

    For years, these people have done nothing helpful. Hope they all get tossed.

  21. yetanotheraoc Silver badge


    Instead of the Romans, it's -- What has the Nominet board ever done for us? And the answer, in a bizarro way, is provided in their own suggested concessions: "including

    * a freeze in director pay

    * and .uk domain prices for two years,

    * doubling the amount of money it gives to public benefit causes,

    * investing more in the .uk registry,

    * launching a new effort to communicate with members, and

    *providing more information about its offshoot commercial enterprises ..."

    I just added bullets. Every thing they are offering to do now is simply the bizarro opposite version of the thing they did previously. Right, that's all okay then.

  22. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Jackie Weaver

    Any chance Jackie Weaver of Handforth Parish Council can be tasked with chairing the meeting?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Desperate, desperate, desperate.

    How desperate the Nominet Board now appear.

    First an email from Civica Election Services and now 2 emails from Nominet on the 23rd and 24th pleading to for members to reject the EGM resolution.

    None of the emails mention its credible plan. Such bias is showing the true colours of the board and is probably firing up waivering members to vote FOR the resolution.

  24. HammerOn1024

    Something about a song...

    Get'em up against the wall!

    As to the quip "plunging into the unknown." == Bovine Excrement.

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: Something about a song...

      Bovine Excrement.

      There are more polite ways to phrase that like "Rose Fertilizer" or "the end product of an uncastrated, adult, male head of cattle".

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'd love to see these money grabbers gone

    I spent 5 years at Nominet and during my tenure, saw Haworth arrive.

    The company was already in a heap of poo before he arrived, in terms of controversy.

    There was a hope that Haworth could sort things out.

    Sadly, it turned out he was hired to do exactly what transpired - milk the cow.

    To attempt to turn Nominet into a mini Verisign and unravel the shackles of a 'not-for-profit' company.

    I witnessed the ridiculous attempt at diversification - as the core business continued to provide 99.9% of revenue, those workers responsible for "keeping the lights on", were sidelined by the "toys" - by the "new cool" - "We want AI in everything, cried the CTO at the time! - give me the AI!"

    Fuck sakes, it was shit. Those workers who kept the damn company running, were barely noticed or acknowledged.

    Such an awesome company in terms of the "lower order" - some seriously talented and genuinely nice people, but a bunch of arseholes running the show - hollow, shallow greedy fuckers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'd love to see these money grabbers gone

      I wonder what the Nominet staff secretly think about their Directors, especially the Customer Service team who are charged with the task of ringing members using a script written by the Directors.

      Now where is that trough? Oink, Oink.

  26. Eeep !

    They are posting a video on the voting page - so who will believe the results if they win ?

    Am I missing something other than the stupidity of Nominet in actively trying to sway voters on the voting page without providing a chance for others to have an equivalent video against the proposal ?

    Who is going to believe the results are valid if the motion is defeated ? Who actually manages the voting, a third party ? If not, why not ?

    Is it just a holding move to allow liquidation of relevant holdings and for people to scarper?

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