Fadi Chehadé will not be seeking to renew his ICANN CEO contract past its current term. He will leave the organisation in March 2016.
An ICANN announcement says Chehadé is moving to a new career in the private sector outside the domain name industry.
“I am deeply committed to working with the Board, our staff, and our community to continue ICANN’s mission as we still have much to accomplish,” Chehadé is quoted as saying. “During the remaining 10 months of my tenure, it’s business-as-usual. My priority remains to continue strengthening ICANN’s operations and services to the global community.”
Although the announcement is a surprise, Chehadé’s decision to leave ICANN should not be. Several ICANN Board members, including current President Steve Crocker, have been honest in recent months about their worry Chehadé would not stay.
The departing CEO has committed to staying available to ICANN after March 2016 to work on the organisation’s big issue of the moment: transitioning the Internet root away from unilateral US government control. No doubt Chehadé’s decision will be read by some as a sign that this is not progressing as smoothly as had been hoped.