back to article He's only gone and done it. Ex-Register vulture elected to board of .uk registry

Former Register journo Kieren McCarthy was this week elected to the board of Nominet, the domain registry in charge of the .uk name space. McCarthy successfully campaigned against two rivals – industry lawyer Volker Greimann and former board member Jim Davies – for an open non-exec director seat. On Monday, he was picked by …

  1. simonlb
    Pint

    Congratulations

    Well done Kieren! You have a lot of work ahead of you to undo the damage wrought previously by greedy and selfish people using the registry as a cash cow for personal gain as well as for vanity projects. It will not be easy, but hopefully you can get this straightened out and help the registry regain some of its lost credibility.

    Have a beer on me!

    1. Lon24 Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Congratulations

      That sort of Krystalises opinion around here. Have one or two yourself ;-)

    2. kierenmccarthy

      Re: Congratulations

      Thank you - that was a lovely pint. I may have a second

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Congratulations

        The boy dun good - Have a third.

        1. KarMann
          Coat

          Re: Congratulations

          Heck, have a minute!

        2. kierenmccarthy

          Re: Congratulations

          [Gulp] [gulp] [gulp] Aaaaaaaah. Now as I swas shaying...

  2. Wellyboot Silver badge
    Happy

    Seconded!

    I look forward to a series of interviews detailing his progress.

  3. Robin

    Chew gum and kick ass?

    For the sub-heading, I can't help but think that the "drink milk and kick ass" variant from IT Crowd might have been more in keeping with the theme of this esteemed publication :-)

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Chew gum and kick ass?

      As much as some of us like IT Crowd, gotta pay respect to the origin of the quote: They Live.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Du5YK5FnyF4

      C.

      1. Peter Mount
        Unhappy

        Re: Chew gum and kick ass?

        Sadly that video is unavailable :'(

        1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

          Re: Chew gum and kick ass?

          The problem with corporate control of the internet in a nutshell.

        2. FrogsAndChips

          Re: Chew gum and kick ass?

          Try this one:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wp_K8prLfso

        3. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Chew gum and kick ass?

          Somewhat appropriately considering the latest changes at this esteemed organ, it's only available in the US...

      2. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: Chew gum and kick ass?

        Uninteresting trivia fact of the day… I used to live 3 doors down from “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, the star of that film, and my wife as a child went to school with his kids.

        That’s about as close as I get to Hollywood glamour. Touching the hems of the stars’ cloaks as they breeze past…

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just run the registry securely and competently.

    Don't commercialise it in any way. Don't look for bold exciting new marketing opportunities. Don't establish bonus and pay structures based on performance metrics like new domains registered. Don't sell data to data broker ghouls.

    Just be the most boring technocrat you can. That's all anyone wants from a registry.

    1. chivo243 Silver badge

      Just be the most boring technocrat you can. That's all anyone wants from a registry.

      Hermes!

      1. Paul Herber Silver badge

        But we don't want to wait almost 1000 years for this to come about.

        1. Robert Grant Silver badge

          2030 is a bit too far away, agreed.

  5. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Congratulations

    I just hope being elected to the board does not prevent continued investigative activities and public statements concerning that organisation ...

    1. Commswonk

      Re: Congratulations

      I just hope being elected to the board does not prevent continued investigative activities and public statements concerning that organisation ... (My bold)

      Er... perhaps not. Kieren will have to adhere to the responsibilities and decisions of the board as a whole; the scope for "freelancing" is likely to be limited and could easily result in the collective displeasure of others who may then take steps to ensure that his tenure as a director is a short one. That would negate everything he has striven for so far, which in turn could would turn out to be disastrous.

      I would hope that he resists the temptation to "tell tales out of school" just in case it compromises his position.

      1. Panicnow

        Re: Congratulations

        Non-execs, indeed all directors HAVE to execute their responsibility independently. He CAN express dissent.

        So called group responsibility is a fiction created by evil chairmen, CEOs etc.

        1. Commswonk

          Re: Congratulations

          Non-execs, indeed all directors HAVE to execute their responsibility independently. He CAN express dissent.

          Of course they can, (and sometimes must) in an appropriate forum such as a board meeting.

          However losing an argument (and I don't mean a slanging match) at a board meeting does not confer on the "loser" the right to moan in public about what went on unless (for example) there was clear evidence of malpractice on the part of the "winners".

          Dissent has to be practised with care...

          1. MJB7

            Re: Dissent

            Do you have a citation for the implication of what you have said that a director of a UK (by which I _probably_ mean English or Welsh) company is legally obliged to accept collective responsibility for board decisions?

            Obviously if he does dissent outside board meetings, he is unlikely to endear himself to the existing establishment at Nominet - but I have a funny feeling that "endearing himself to the existing establishment at Nominet" is rather a long way down his list of priorities.

            1. Commswonk

              Re: Dissent

              Do you have a citation for the implication of what you have said that a director of a UK (by which I _probably_ mean English or Welsh) company is legally obliged to accept collective responsibility for board decisions?

              No, for the very simple reason that that is not what I asserted. I did not use the word "legally" so IMHO you have wilfully misrepresented what I said.

              A Director and the Board of which he or she is a member is legally required to act in the best interests of the shareholders. (OK; it is not hard to argue about what is and is not in the best interests of the shareholders!) You are asking me to support a statement that I did not make.

              Obviously if he does dissent outside board meetings, he is unlikely to endear himself to the existing establishment at Nominet - but I have a funny feeling that "endearing himself to the existing establishment at Nominet" is rather a long way down his list of priorities.

              Both statements might well be true, but he must avoid running the risk that the "majority" of this or any other Board of Directors get so pissed off that they seek the removal of the dissenter(s) by way of a vote at an AGM / EGM, which is why I wrote Dissent has to be practised with care...

              1. unimaginative Bronze badge

                Re: Dissent

                A Director and the Board of which he or she is a member is legally required to act in the best interests of the shareholders.

                Nominet does not have shareholders it is a company limited by guarantee, not shares.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Congratulations. Let's hope now positive changes will be made

    Is Eleanor Bradley, Managing Director (been with Nominet 25+ years) and supporter of the old regime still there?

  7. Philip Storry
    Pint

    Congratulations!

    Given your lamentable bubblegum situation, I hope you find solace with a sturdy pair of boots.

    Good luck!

  8. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

    You were only s'posed to blow the bloody doors off!

    Kudos Kieran!

    You realise this is the high point? Us fickle folk will all hate you by the end of your term - with grumbles about you having "gone native". But good luck. Kick some bums and bring about some change!

  9. ~chrisw

    May your tenure be long and untroubled, may the registry prices be ever reduced to £3/year range and may Nominet's bizarre and irrelevant side hustles be dropped. Look forward to seeing you help turn it around to become the good registry it used to be.

  10. Sp1z
    Pint

    Screw Nominet, I reckon he should run for government having watched that pitch!

    But seriously, well done Kieren. Looking forward to some well overdue changes to the registry.

  11. nematoad Silver badge

    I'm not surprised.

    "Nominet is a member organization, so 15 per cent engagement is a serious problem."

    Well if the organisation takes no notice of your views and is totally unaccountable can you blame them?

    Still good news that someone with clean hands has been elected to help clean out the Augean Stables that Nominet has become.

  12. heyrick Silver badge
    Pint

    Just here to add another -->

    Don't drink 'em all at once!

    1. kierenmccarthy
    2. Zolko Silver badge
      Pint

      There are quite a few bottles on the walls in the place they chose to make the presentations. Good omen for a good career opportunity.

  13. Martin Summers

    I hate to be that cynic. What can he actually do as a none executive director? He has a voice yes, but no power to do anything (hence none exec) or force anything through, other than persuasion.

    Not sure how their Constitution works but I feel he's going to end up feeling somewhat frustrated after a short time.

    I sincerely wish that wasn't the case, because it needs to be dealt with after all the shenanigans recently.

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Well, I'd say he's done pretty well until now with no power other than that of being a journalist.

      Or, to put it another way, cockroaches fear the harsh light of day.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        It could also be argued that getting him on the inside, possibly with little to no power as stated above and much less ability to do investigative reporting, could neuter him. Keeps your friends close and your enemies closer.

        On the other hand, with his work experience, and words being his stock in trade, he might well be a good persuader (Tony Curtis or Roger Moore? :-)

        Obviously I hope I'm entirely off-base with that first paragraph, but you know, conspiracies are everywhere!!!!

    2. unimaginative Bronze badge
      Happy

      What can he actually do as a none executive director? He has a voice yes, but no power to do anything (hence none exec) or force anything through, other than persuasion.

      Non-executive directors have a voice and a vote at board meetings and a right to be informed. Their entire purpose is to make sure part of the board is independent of the management.

      Most of the Nominet board are non-executive by the way, so non-executive directors control it - however, some obviously support the management.

  14. Giacomo Bruzzo

    pedantic syllogism

    Assuming the author wanted readers to imply a conclusion in the subtitle:

    <pedantic alert>Kieren's here to chew bubblegum OR kick Nominet ass. And he's all out of bubblegum</pedantic alert>

    1. Norman Nescio Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: pedantic syllogism

      <British pedant>It's kick arse, not kick ass. An ass is an equine: Equus africanus asinus.</British pedant>

      Oh, and another beer for Kieren. Well done that man!

      1. PRR Bronze badge
        Headmaster

        Re: pedantic syllogism

        > <British pedant>It's kick arse, not kick ass. An ass is an equine: Equus africanus asinus.</British pedant>

        It is a direct quote. Journalists should not twist sources' language to appease the publisher. (Even if that publisher appears to now favor US language choices.)

        Anyway. Roddy was born in Canada, not Britain (or Scotland). I dunno what talk they talk in Saskatoon, but by 1973 Roddy was making trouble in Kansas City and in Texas. In those places an ass is not an African donkey.

        The quoted movie ("They Live") was directed and written by John Carpenter, born in New York, raised in Kentucky, California, and other low places in the US. It is possible the "I'm here.." is his, or Roddy's, whatever.

        An ass is an ass, kiss it or kick it. John and Roddy didn't kiss any ass.

  15. Alistair
    Windows

    Kudos to Kieran.

    Considering the global situation w/r/t the various organisations that either regulate or implement or manage components of the internet, and the unmitigated disaster that was Nominet's destination prior to the EGM, I'm thinking that there are a few other entities that could use with the invasion of a few of the commentariat here in order to correct the drift.

    Go get em Kieran, and umm, don't drink the stuff over yer head in that video. I know where there might be a we dram of Caol Ila or three to be indulged.

  16. JessicaRabbit

    15% but not really

    I assume the 15% quoted in the title is 15% of the members not 15% of all possible votes. IIRC this has been covered before but lest anyone forget. Only 25% of all possible votes are split evenly between members. The remaining 75% are split based on number of registered domains which means a small number of large registrars godaddy etc account for the vast majority of all castable votes. That's the real reason not many members bother to vote, their vote is worth near enough sod all!

  17. mdubash

    Well done Kieren!

    Have a large Scotch on me.

    Cheers!

  18. bpfh Silver badge
    Pint

    Bravo!

    Have another one!

  19. Danny 2 Silver badge

    Proton Me

    Damn, I should have copyrighted Kudos to Kieran. And banned anyone from calling me a large Scotch.

    I hope Kieran doesn't mind this fan advert for a free service. ProtonMail.ch, now Proton.ME to save 'leckie, has a new range of fairly impressive features on Proton Drive.

    Proton Drive offers you the privacy of offline storage and the convenience and reliability of cloud storage.

    All files are protected with end-to-end encryption

    File metadata is also end-to-end encrypted, including file names, extensions, create/modify dates, etc.

    Digital signatures allow you to check the authenticity and integrity of files

    And like all Proton services, Proton Drive is open source, independently audited, and Swiss-based.

    It's like Toblerone for your computer, CERN for your concerns.

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