back to article Now that half of Nominet's board has been ejected, what happens next? Let us walk you through the possibilities

On Monday, 740 members of .uk internet registry operator Nominet made the drastic decision to ditch five of its 11-strong board of directors, including the CEO and chairman, in a fierce rebuke of the company’s efforts to move from a non-profit organisation to a commercial one. Today, Nominet has an interim chair – one of the …

  1. Chris G Silver badge

    I think a thorough audit and a review of the board's past actions are in order.

    The review to check the legality of those actions and whether anything is recoverable from those who committed the actions.

    1. KittenHuffer Silver badge

      But the first thing to do will be to get new board members in place that are not part of the old regime. Otherwise any audit is not going to find anything bad about that old regime.

    2. General Purpose Bronze badge

      I wouldn't pin a lot of hopes on such an audit. Making bad decisions, trashing your oranisation's reputation and alienating your own members isn't usually illegal. Remember Ratner! Or GEC, or ICI or well, UK tech industry generally, at least in the late 20th century.

    3. Alan Brown Silver badge

      The operative words are "forensic auditing"

      This is the phrase which sends chills down the spine of dodgy accountants anywhere

      forensic auditing doesn't just make sure everything adds up but looks at what money went where, the reasons for it going where it did and whether the OTHER parties books add up in the transactions

      An audit will handwave through people being flying everywhere first class as long as it's signed off appropriately. A forensic auditor will start looking into why the execs' families were flown first class too at company expense

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Nominet Cyber?

        An audit will handwave through people being flying everywhere first class as long as it's signed off appropriately. A forensic auditor will start looking into why the execs' families were flown first class too at company expense.

        So I noticed a curious thing whilst watching Netflix's show about Formula 1. The team principle and pit boards had a 'Nominet Cyber' sponsorship on them-

        https://www.nominet.uk/haas-f1-team-chooses-nominet-to-drive-cyber-security/

        Chief Executive Officer at Nominet, Russell Haworth remarked; “Our partnership with Rich Energy Haas F1 Team has natural synergies. Both organizations are highly innovative in their approach and we are delighted to be chosen to drive their cyber security strategy by utilising DNS to remove network threats and protect their intellectual property.

        Not sure if that's something Nominet inherited when they bought CyGlass, but the terms of the 'patnership' might warrant closer inspection.. Especially as F1 sponsorship deals aren't usually cheap, and nor might be sending people to hospitality events at F1 races. Then again, last year probably had fewer opportunites to go spectate in person.

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: Nominet Cyber?

          "utilising DNS to remove network threats"?

          That's akin to claiming that the telephone directory can be used to fight fraud. Why has nobody challenged them on this egregious bullshit?

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
            Happy

            Re: Nominet Cyber?

            It can. Back in 1986, that dodgy man rang the doorbell, so I hit him with the Yellow Pages.

            With telephone directories being mainly a thing of the past, you have to hit them with laptops now...

          2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: Nominet Cyber?

            That's akin to claiming that the telephone directory can be used to fight fraud. Why has nobody challenged them on this egregious bullshit?

            It's got some truth behind it, eg DNS spoofing, hijacking etc. But IMHO, it's where Nominet should have been operating in an outreach role. So communicating risks, recommending solutions, encouraging best practice. Not buying a business that competes against services it's members offer. That has always been one of the issues around Nominet's commercial activities, even bidding to run other TLDs competes against it's members who can and do also operate in that space.

  2. Mike 137 Silver badge

    The bottom line?

    The fundamental issue seems to me to be whether a TLD registry is a public service or a vehicle in support of registrars' profit making businesses. It's not at all surprising that the behemoth registrars such as Gd supported Nominet against the challenge - they have the same ambitions it had (has?) - to make a lot of money out of registrations. My personal view is that in the modern obligatorily connected world a TLD registry should always be a public service (as Nominet started out to be), just like all other essential utilities. The greatest danger now is that money still screams.

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: The bottom line?

      In addition:

      1 - They are running a public resource, they didn't invent ".uk"

      2 - They have a monopoly on .UK domains

    2. rg287 Silver badge

      Re: The bottom line?

      It's not at all surprising that the behemoth registrars such as Gd supported Nominet against the challenge - they have the same ambitions it had (has?) - to make a lot of money out of registrations.

      I don't follow your reasoning. GD's interest in selling cheap .uk domains should have led them to support the challenge. Nominet diversifying into autonomous vehicles and sponsoring F1 teams, paid for with .uk price rises only eats into GDs margins (or forces them to push up prices).

      Whether it's run as a public service or a vehicle to support registrar businesses makes no difference to the underlying notion of minimising wholesale .uk prices to support your member's activities.

      1. Rol Silver badge

        Re: The bottom line?

        If the costs of doing business gets more expensive, that tends to play into the hands of the long established players, and acts as a barrier to newcomers.

        e.g. At one time over, anyone with a pipe cutter and some PTFE tape could call themselves a plumber and merrily work on your gas appliances. With the introduction of the CORGI registration scheme, only those qualified and suitably assessed could, and hence the already established big companies in the field championed this increase in costs, as it drove a lot of competition out of the market and acted as a barrier to new ones. End result, Porsche owning gas fitters, who turn up when they want and charge as they like, knowing damned well you have little choice but to put up and shut up.

      2. Mike 137 Silver badge

        Re: The bottom line?

        "I don't follow your reasoning"

        In a market the extent of which is not limited by price, the higher the price the greater the turnover, and thus potentially the profit. That applies here as domain names are now an fundamental necessity for doing business. I very much doubt that any registrar makes a flat rate profit regardless of the wholesale cost of a domain name - it's much more likely to be a proportionate mark up.

        Quite apart from which, the whole .UK TLD venture was purely aimed at revenue generation, for all parties concerned. It was unnecessary to any but the registrars and Nominet for the provision of any service, and the behemoth registrars were in the forefront of forcing them down the throats of the public. Fortunately a majority of businesses was smart enough to catch on to the scam.

      3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: The bottom line?

        It doesn't surprise me, when one of the board members of Nominet is an executive from GD. A cynic would suggest that he is only interested in the size of his bonus, and a bonus from a larger organisation (Nominet) can be larger than one from a smaller one (GD). Like corporate executives everywhere, the primary focus is on their own salary, not the wellbeing of the company, otherwise there'd be no such thing as large companies taking over smaller ones and asset-stripping them for short-term profits.

        1. dinsdale54

          Re: The bottom line?

          It might be worth you comparing Nominet's turnover - £44 million with GoDaddy's - $3 billion.

          1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

            Re: The bottom line?

            Really revenue is the number you want to look at, not turnover.

            You could have a turnover of £100bn, but it's not great if your costs are £200bn, because you'd have very large negative revenue.

            A quick google though, tells me that GoDaddy's revenue is an astounding $3.7. They must be really fleecing their customers for that, unless they're doing something to earn that sort of dosh beyond hosting and domain name registrations.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: The bottom line?

              they also fleece for ssl certificates

            2. ragnar

              Re: The bottom line?

              Do you mean profit?

            3. davenewman

              Re: The bottom line?

              How id $3.70 fleecing their customers?

            4. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

              Re: The bottom line?

              Correction, that should have read £3.7Bn.

              Stupid 10 minute edit window...

  3. chuBb. Silver badge

    Hopeful but sceptical

    Im hopeful for some wholesale change at nominet, and cant applaud the actions of public benefit enough. That said im sceptical that it wont be met with chicanary and obstruction, too many vested interests in the status quo, hopefully 1and1 and GD will get told where to go, but money talks and wouldnt put it past them to piss about with pricing and start spreading FUD because they are not getting what they want.

    To echo a previous comment they should be a public service, i see no difference between a domain name and a post code in terms of public benefit (obviously desirable isn't an adjective you can apply to a post code in terms of its composition, unlike a domain name, its not like there is a market for trading postcodes [ok there is but i dont think property sales are comparable to domainnames], my point is that the registry of post codes is a public service)

    Been missing the lolz from the Autonomy bunfight, looks like this will get interesting....

  4. tel2016

    Something else that anyone with a website can do

    is to change our host from those that voted against the EGM to those that voted for it. I use GoDaddy (after a recommendation from someone), but that will be changed at the next opportunity.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Agree

      Anyone who supported "the old gang" should suffer the consequences.

      1. tel2016

        Re: Agree

        It will also increase the number of votes allocated to those providers that want Nominet to return to its roots as a non-profit, and reduce the votes of those who don't, as well as impacting their bottom-line.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: GoDaddy, but that will be changed at the next opportunity.

      Do we know how the other big "pre-agm undecided" companies went? I'm wondering abuot Namesco in particular...

      1. tel2016

        Re: GoDaddy, but that will be changed at the next opportunity.

        Interesting question. I see Namesco are still in the undecided category on the website. Is it public knowledge which providers voted for and against (or abstained)?

        I think I'll be changing to a UK company too.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: GoDaddy, but that will be changed at the next opportunity.

          https://porkbun.com/ seem to be the best value at the moment... Anyone know how they voted here?

      2. Dominic Thomas

        Re: GoDaddy, but that will be changed at the next opportunity.

        I'm still waiting for an answer to that question from Fasthosts, who although claiming to be "undecided" before the EGM, gave every indication that they would be voting against - and I am all ready to move if that does turn out to be the case. My four domains and a web server are hardly making them quake in their boots, but I am more than happy to vote with my feet regardless and I would encourage everyone here to do the same if their own provider supported the previous board.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: GoDaddy, but that will be changed at the next opportunity.

          I think some apparent UK registrars have been bought GD (for example) but still trade under their familiar name. Is there a "family tree" anywhere (on publicbenefit.uk might be appropriate?) so we can ensure we're not inadvertently dealing with the villains?

          I've got some names at LCN who are shown as "undecided" but they are part of team.blue (whoever they are) as are names.co.uk

          It might be instructive to know which registrars voted which way.

        2. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: GoDaddy, but that will be changed at the next opportunity.

          "I'm still waiting for an answer to that question from Fasthosts"

          Based on the publicbenefit.uk site, they're a subsidiary of 1&1 which voted against. I'd say that's enough to go on.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Something else that anyone with a website can do

      I was kicking myself when one of my certificates renewed automatically with GoDaddy the other week.

      This will be the last year of using them.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Something else that anyone with a website can do

      https://porkbun.com/ seem to be the best value at the moment... Anyone know how they voted here?

    5. Commander Lard

      Re: Something else that anyone with a website can do

      Like Mythic Beasts - true story, their founder once chased a mugger for miles on foot through Cambridge after an attempted robbery

    6. SImon Hobson Silver badge

      Re: Something else that anyone with a website can do

      but that will be changed at the next opportunity

      But don't forget that it will only make a difference if you make it very clear to the CS rep why you are having no dealings with them in the future. A few 'nerds' leaving won't even show in the noise, and TBH a few people telling the CS reps why they're leaving probably won't register - but if you just leave without saying why, then they'll never know and nothing will change. If enough people say why, then the CS reps might start mentioning to their managers that they've had these strange calls - and it might possibly reach it's way up the manglement tree.

  5. Red Ted
    FAIL

    Wahhh! You took away our gravy train...

    ...is rather how I read the remaining board members position.

    1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory
      Unhappy

      Re: Wahhh! You took away our gravy train...

      I read it more as "you think things are going to change? Well, we're going to do whatever it takes, to make sure that they don't."

  6. Lucien Taylor

    Spot on - how do we get around a table?

    We’ve heard a lot about all the other stakeholders that Nominet needs to take into account [true]. How do we get to talk to each other. The 7 point plan and the RAC is doomed - it is only talks and engagement and respect for the aims of Public Benefit’s 5 point plan that will resolve this.

  7. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    Destabilizing

    Of those opposed, many acted on the former chair and CEO’s claims that a yes vote would be destabilizing for the organisation. That still might be the case.

    I think a big shake up is what's needed at Nominet and these are rarely painless.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Destabilizing

      Nominet has just been shaken up, and I'm not sure the shaking has stopped.

      I'm glad that the pitchforks have won, but it is not a total victory until the right people have been appointed and the entire Board is renewed.

      If the current Board members had a shred of decency, they would have stepped down after the ousting of the person they so publicly supported got kicked out. As they did not, they demonstrate their will to do everything to oppose the new wave and should be kicked out as well.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Destabilizing

        You're right. The rest of the board have to go. They're just as responsible for the clusterfuck as the board members who were removed on Monday. Their day of reckoning will come.

        However if the remainder of the board stepped down right now, that would create a vacuum and a tricky bootstrapping problem. Who'd chair the EGM or AGM to appoint their replacements? Who could call that AGM or EGM? How could a non-existent board install the interim CEO and Chairperson?

        Some of the old board will need to hang around for a while like a bad fart so there can be an orderly transition to a new board. Arranging a smooth handover is also one of the duties of a company director.

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: Destabilizing

          However if the remainder of the board stepped down right now, that would create a vacuum and a tricky bootstrapping problem. Who'd chair the EGM or AGM to appoint their replacements? Who could call that AGM or EGM? How could a non-existent board install the interim CEO and Chairperson?

          I guess one way might be for the remaining board to propose an EGM to vote on the 2nd motion for Lyons & Pawlik, possibly with some additional interim directors/execs to form a new board. AFAIK it's something mostly doable by the Company Secretary, who has quite a lot of power in company law.

          But a previous poster pointed out that one snag might be that some remnants are employees, so harder to displace & may be holding out for a pay-off to seek exciting opportunities elsewhere. Then again, payoffs for any of the dearly departed are one of those things due for some scrutiny I think.

  8. Lon24

    The Vicars of Bray

    Pragmatic or unprincipled? U-turns are generally good in business - but unacceptable in politics. Nominet is a business - and as Kieran demonstrates clearly - its board is in crisis - not the registry which has and will chug on despite the shenanigans. I see no problem in the short term of the remaining Directors staying on to support the new leadership. Implicit in that is 'supporting'. They were there when Nominet took another direction - they have the implicit knowledge of what was done, why and probably the best way to undo it.

    I await their Friday announcement. Will they, as the Vicar of Bray did, do a mental leap and dump the old ideology of transforming into a commercial venture company to being a utility and vital part of the UK internet infrastructure? Or will they seek to man a rear guard action that can only destabilise Nominet?

    A Nominet Member

    In the longer term when the re-orientation is underway they may wish to move on to other boards more in tune and needing their skills. Bottom line: their CVs will look better if they include helping to successfully transform and renew Nominet rather than being solely associated with Russell's disastrous tenure and being at loggerheads with their stakeholders.

  9. Peter2 Silver badge

    The simple fact of the matter is that should the remaining board members prove utterly intractable the publicbenefit.uk campaign has a demonstrated majority of the membership on his side, a majority which is frankly only likely to rise without the extreme measures taken by the late board.

    This means that the publicbenefit.uk campaign has (in extremis) the ability to vote off every remaining board member, and then use the existing articles of association to make a number of member appointments, who would then be the only members of the board and whom could then make further appointments at their discretion, including appointing the executive members such as the CEO.

    One would therefore expect the remaining board members to eventually realise this, at which point any reasonably intelligent person who wished to retain their position would start considering how sustainable it is to hold an adversarial position towards the majority of the members. (and it certainly is a majority; the existing board tried as hard as anybody could possibly do to get people to vote against it)

  10. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    And further down the line - #DissolveTheUnion

    And within a few years they'll have to face a further problem. The dissolution of the political entity known as the United Kingdom, and thus the raison d'etre of the .uk TLD.

    Obviously they can keep supporting existing domains, but it would be nonsense to issue any new ones. A bit like having .atlantis or .ussr

    Cymru and Scotland already have our own TLDs, but England doesn't. Perhaps a rapid launch of .eng is in order? Should Nominet handle that?

    1. Pete B

      Re: And further down the line - #DissolveTheUnion

      Shouldn't even be .uk - it should be .gb per ISO country code, but I assume it was Jon Postel who agreed with it?

      1. Avatar of They

        Re: And further down the line - #DissolveTheUnion

        GB is the name of the island itself and isn't actually a country, so is a bit weird as I don't think we have any other domain levels named just after islands containing more than one country? It also shouldn't include Northern Ireland under the GB domain.

        1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: And further down the line - #DissolveTheUnion

          It also shouldn't include Northern Ireland under the GB domain.

          That won't be a problem anyway, once the Union dissolves, Northern Ireland will be reunited with the Irish Republic (and instantly become a part of the EU again as well).

          1. Rainer Rechnermann

            Re: And further down the line - #DissolveTheUnion

            The majority of Ulster populace and their guns want an argument with you.

            1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

              Re: And further down the line - #DissolveTheUnion

              Check your numbers again, a majority voted remain on the Brexit referendum and the Catholics outnumber the Protestants by now.

              1. boblongii

                Re: And further down the line - #DissolveTheUnion

                Not all Catholics would vote to join the Republic and not all Protestants would vote to remain in the UK, so it's not that simple.

                Additionally, a vote would make no difference to the existence of Loyalist guns, just as the GFA made no difference to the existence of Republican ones.

              2. Stripes the Dalmatian

                Re: And further down the line - #DissolveTheUnion

                Am I the only person who *sometimes* thinks there should be a special institution for storing people who downvote facts?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: And further down the line - #DissolveTheUnion

          If the UK government and the DUP continues with their current behaviours and attitudes the question will change.

          First the UK will shrink to just GB. Then the UK will shrink even further!

          1. Blitheringeejit
            Pint

            Re: And further down the line - #DissolveTheUnion

            .ingerrrlaaand anyone?

            In the meantime, this for the Nominet members -------------------->

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Then the UK will shrink even further!

            Well, as long as the Kingdom of England remains united, that will probably suffice as a reason for being called the "United Kingdom". Then again, since there are and have been a variety of "Democratic Republics of X" which were not especially (or even at all) democratic, I think even a dis-united kingdom might get away with still calling itself the United Kingdom. :-)

            1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

              Re: Then the UK will shrink even further!

              Someone (Mitch Benn?) wrote a silly song about our name. And settled on Ukogbani. Which is the acronym for The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Which I believe is still the longest official country name in the world. If ambassadors had to have their country name printed on their back, like footballers, all our diplomats would have to be either shot putters, or massively greedy.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And further down the line - #DissolveTheUnion

        .gb was issued to the UK name, but internet users in Northern Ireland objected (on the basis that geographically NI isn't in GB) and since it was early days the UK Name at the time - I can't remember if this was before Willie Black (Prof K-somthing) agreed with Postel to have .uk. dotGB domains were used for a while and .gb remained listed at IANA for Dr Black and now it's listed at IANA as reserved with a JANET contact.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And further down the line - #DissolveTheUnion

        "Shouldn't even be .uk - it should be .gb per ISO country code, but I assume it was Jon Postel who agreed with it?"

        GB is the ISO 3166 code for the United kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. .gb exists but isn't used apart from some legacy MoD X.400 mail thing I think. The GB ISO code might well be used for stuff outside computer networking. I don't know or care.

        .uk is technically an impostor. It's an exception on the ISO list. It prevailed over .gb because .uk had been in wide use in UK academia before the Internet or DNS started to be used. It was common sense to whack that academic name database into the DNS under .uk, so that's what was done.

        IIRC Jon Postel delegated both TLDs to Prof Kirstein at UCL who had the only UK node on the Arpanet. .uk eventually ended up with Nominet and JANET holds .gb.

        1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: And further down the line - #DissolveTheUnion

          The GB ISO code might well be used for stuff outside computer networking.

          On cars and in the ISO currency code (GBP).

    2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: And further down the line - #DissolveTheUnion

      I think .le is available, for Little England.

    3. ahnlak

      Re: And further down the line - #DissolveTheUnion

      I would happily switch my .co.uk domains to .cymru ones, but that doesn't exactly get me away from Nominet...

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And further down the line - #DissolveTheUnion

      Perhaps a rapid launch of .eng is in order? Should Nominet handle that?

      There's no chance of a .eng any time soon. ICANN has still to work out when there will be another round of new gTLDs.

      If/when that happens, Nominet could make a bid - provided the membership agreed. Nominet wisely chose not to do that the last time there was a gTLD-fest.

      .eng probably won't be needed because that's what .uk will be once the Scots and Welsh have fucked off and Northern Ireland has joined Ireland.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And further down the line - #DissolveTheUnion

      Since y'all are too partisan to sort it out yourselves, we Antipodeans are happy to decide for you.

      .pom

      Sorted.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: And further down the line - #DissolveTheUnion

        My cockney Grandad always finished all nursery rhymes he sang to us with eye-tiddley-eye-tie, pom-pom!

        So that’s a domain I’d love to own!

        Wonder if he did that after the national anthem, or in church after hymns?

  11. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    If the remnant board remains obdurate I suppose the next logical step is to call a further EGM to vote on a motion of no confidence in the board. No doubt the remnant will have worked that out for themselves. The remaining question is whether they think they could defeat that.

  12. ChrisHolland

    Accountability

    The departed directors have treated Nominet as their own personal fiefdom and cash cow for several years and a full audit needs to be conducted at this time to closely scrutinise all financial dealings with them, their families and connected businesses.

    The breathtaking stunts that they've pulled and the millions of pounds that they have systematically looted from Nominet are just the ones that we know about. Given the extreme implausibility that they've been able to resist the temptation to also help themselves to even more money under the table, any irregularities uncovered should result in civil and criminal proceedings being broughts against them as well as seeking to have them banned from being able to act as.comoany directors.

    I'm appalled, but not entirely surprised, that none of the pro gravytrain directors didn't have the decency to resign. Especially the despicable David 'Judas Iscariot' Thornton, who has not only slavishly and sycophantically rubber stamped everything put before him, but who was actually elected under fraudulent pretences in the first place. If this deeply unpleasant human being doesn't mince out of there of his own accord.

  13. AW-S

    Line of Duty

    If anyone is in contact with Mr Mercurio please ask him to not bother with a series 7.

    Just move the action from AC12 to Nominet. Could be fun to watch - and we have plenty of acronyms to annoy the Daily Mail & Grauniad with.

  14. Electronics'R'Us Silver badge
    Holmes

    The problem

    is that once such a culture is entrenched (and it apparently still is, given the whining from the remaining employees who were part of the board), the only way to fix it is to do a truly clean sweep.

    I have seen that on more than one occasion in the armed forces (and there is actually a recent event) where an entire unit is disbanded.

    A new unit is then formed to take its place with none of the cliques from the old allowed into that new unit (they are dispersed in the rest of the service). This includes the officers who are sometimes given a quiet suggestion that they resign rather than face a court martial depending on the severity of the issue. If your entire old unit is disbanded then there has been a major failure of leadership, at the very least.

    I know of at least one occasion where an entire ships company was replaced and the thus displaced personnel dispersed around the rest of the service. I am not advocating that all of Nominet has to go; just the toxic board and any layers of management that have been infected.

    Somewhat drastic but it is really the only way to excise the poison of such a culture. It is destabilising in the sense that a completely new board will need to be appointed / voted in but it marks a very clean break with what has been going on for the last few years.

  15. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Would like to know how my ISP voted

    I've noticed a drop in the standard of service in recent times. I won't name them, but they are a well known middle-size one.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Would like to know how my ISP voted

      My ISP (Andrews & Arnold) doesn't even appear to be a Nominet member - not sure I'd blame them for that decision, but I was a little surprised. Same with my domain registrar (tsohost).

      1. Dominic Thomas

        Re: Would like to know how my ISP voted

        tsohost is one of the GoDaddy brands, so voted against. A&A, as befits their reputation as small and feisty, voted to oust the board.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Would like to know how my ISP voted

          Thanks for that! Off to change registrars...

    2. FeeFiFoFum

      Re: Would like to know how my ISP voted

      You can find our how your ISP voted by entering a .uk domain name on the PB website: https://publicbenefit.uk/#lookup

  16. heyrick Silver badge

    resulting in a narrow three per cent margin of victory

    Less than that pushed Brexit through.

    Let's hope something equally seismic shakes the crap out of the carpeting of Nominet. Start with an independent audit, and don't trust sycophants.

    1. boblongii

      Re: resulting in a narrow three per cent margin of victory

      Having a vote and then acting on the majority decision is not "pushing something through", it's how things are supposed to work. If the board had refused to enact the decision because "the winning margin was only 3%" you would be up in arms.

  17. Siusaidh

    Can the 'remnant Board' be trusted?

    The remnant board directors will use the mantra of stability, and orderly transition.

    That’s what everyone should want.

    However:

    The Campaign people signed up for already proposed a pathway to orderly transition.

    (And this is the point of concern) The remaining Board must not use the mantra of orderly transition to obfuscate, delay, or obstruct, and the very real problem we have is: TRUST.

    On what grounds do we trust the remnant Board? These are directors who signed off and mandated the policies that have been repudiated. These are directors who remained silent when the Members’ Forum was shut down mid-AGM (I’ll except Phil because he’d only been a director for a matter of minutes). These are directors who opposed Referendum 1.

    In short, they didn’t want this sequence of events.

    There are few grounds for trust, and every reasonable fear that, given time and shenanigans, they would like to maintain Nominet on broadly its previous track.

    On that basis, I just don’t think they should delay the appointment of Sir Michael Lyons and Axel Pawlik. There is a vacuum of trusted leadership, which needs to be filled almost immediately, because the present Board is part of the Board who were responsible for what has gone before.

    If they genuinely want the change they say they now ‘understand’, they will demonstrate that by acceding to the 2nd part of the Public Benefit campaign, which all signatories signed up to.

    I have a further issue that really needs confronting, uncomfortable as it is. If you are a removed Board member but you retain your executive position in the company, are members to trust that, like Paul on the Road to Damascus, you have suddenly ‘seen the light’ and want to fight for a new underlying principle for Nominet - a principle you fought against when on the Board? I think it’s reasonable to feel concerned that (notwithstanding personality or talent) you may not be the right person in place at a time when we need 100% commitment to the very process of change that you opposed as a Board member.

    There are many things to be sorted, but an absolute priority is to get Sir Michael Lyons in place, to lead the company firmly along its new course, and to begin the appointments and orderly process of transition to the kind of company that the membership has shown that it wants.

  18. Blofeld's Cat Silver badge

    Er ...

    One of the essential skills required to ride the gravy train, is having enough sense to get off before it becomes a tumbrel.

  19. Siusaidh

    Auditing the Company

    One of the first actions I believe should be carried out, in the aftermath of the EGM, is an audit of the company’s records in microscopic detail.

    Unfortunately, the remnant directors who were part of the old regime are not the right people to audit themselves. It’s another argument for getting a clean pair of hands, with deep understanding of Nominet, into leadership as soon as possible: Sir Michael Lyons.

    He needs to have the authority of an incoming Chairman to access every single balance sheet from preceding years, every single transaction, and every detail of cross-subsidisation, claims of ‘suspended profits’, the actual profit and loss sustained on each venture, and each TLD contract that Nominet has bid for or obtained.

    It needs to go deeper: it needs to look at staff culture, management culture, and accounts of staff members. I have reason to believe there will be disturbing disclosures.

    I wonder what members here on ‘Discourse’ believe should be investigated, and what issues deserve closer investigation? Are there detailed minutes of meetings, withheld from public view? Sir Michael should see these. Precisely how much money has been squandered in various investments?

    The present Board should not be auditing the company, because in effect they would be auditing their own actions and mandates. It’s a cogent reason why the appointment of Sir Michael should not be delayed.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Binns: "That process will, of course, be open, rigorous and thorough, based on merit, and encouraging diversity..."

    So if there's a BAME lesbian paraplegic looking for a job, clearly a better choice than Sir Michael Lyons or Axel Pawlik because "diversity"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's some severely hypothetical bullshit you engage in.

  21. lone.gunman
    WTF?

    As just a domain owner watching from the sidelines...

    I have watched this un-fold for sometime & frankly I cannot see how any of the existing board of Nominet can feel they should stay in post! Basically they should resign now

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: As just a domain owner watching from the sidelines...

      They feel they should receive a few more exorbitant pay cheques.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Every company has/should have Succession Planning

    Eleanor Bradley and Ben Hill sat on Nominet Board’s investment committee.

    Ben Hill sat on the board’s mergers and acquisitions committee.

    Eleanor Bradley earned £220k last year and bonuses of £103k.

    Ben Hill earned £383k last year and a bonus of £157k

    They were responsible for developing and driving Nominet’s commercial flops. www.theregister.com/2021/02/11/nominet_board_offer/?page=2

    Bonuses on top of inflated salaries. Bonuses for what? Nominet should provide details of the bonus structure.

    Furthermore, the Nominet Board was UNANIMOUS in recommending that members reject the proposed resolution and vote NO. Not one board member stood up and vocally declared dissent.

    The Nominet Board www.nominet.uk/board is now updated with a few faces missing. Doubtlessly we are to see a number of damascene conversions, it wasn’t really me guv, the others persuaded me to go along with it all.

    Every company has/should have Succession Planning ensuring that businesses continue to run smoothly after a company's most important people move on to new opportunities, retire, or pass away. Nominet will be no different.

    There must surely be a wealth of talent within Nominet that can rise up in the organization and fill vacant places.

    1. R Soul

      Re: Every company has/should have Succession Planning

      "There must surely be a wealth of talent within Nominet that can rise up in the organization and fill vacant places."

      I'd be stunned if there wasn't. But put yourself in their shoes. Would you want to join a board that's split down the middle and facing massive structural problems? Maybe once the boardroom cull is over and the dust has settled, but not now. Meanwhile, just keep the head down until the new board is stable enough to think about succession planning.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Every company has/should have Succession Planning

        Potentially there isn’t a wealth of talent ready to take over executive positions, those in executive positions might have made sure of that. No CMO, no CTO & no CPO, no head of legal & policy.

        I wonder who made sure those jobs were degraded. There might not have meant to be a CFO, but the DOF might have come in & was very ‘committed’ to seeing the CEO’s vision was agreed with & implemented from his very first day with the company, he might have been very compliant, very very compliant. Then Hey Presto he’s CFO & a seat on the board was rewarded, possibly he became the new hand of the king & the old hand to the previous king downgraded in title & stature.

  23. Blitheringeejit
    Mushroom

    Gi's a job!

    I can do databases and DNS, please can I have a £1.7M salary?

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Gi's a job!

      I’ll do it for 1.6m! And I make a great martini. And an even better margarita.

      I did a database course back in the 90s if it helps. Haven’t used any of it since 2001 mind.

  24. Cellco Cabal Buster

    Michael Lyons excellent 2015 report -

    Necessary reading.....

    https://publicbenefit.uk/resources/Sir-Michael-Lyons-Report-2015.pdf

  25. Chillihead666

    Anyone know how UK2.net voted?

    Curious minds want to know if they need to move their handful of domains.

  26. domaincolony

    Minutes

    There are many allegations and assumptions flying around - surely the first step is to see the unpublished Board [and board subcommittee] minutes. We can then make informed criticisms or praise of current and former Board Members.

    1. Blitheringeejit

      Re: Minutes

      I think they are unpublished for a reason, and we're only going to get a look at them after a night of the long knives (which for those under 60 does NOT mean using actual knives, please don't call in the armed response boys ...

      <CRASH>

      ... oh shit, too late, there goes another front door...).

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