'Conflict of interest' forces out Icann chief strategist

The chief strategy officer of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) has been forced to resign over a "conflict of interest".

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The chief strategy officer of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) has been forced to resign over a "conflict of interest".

In a statement from Icann chief executive Fadi Chehadé the orgnisation said it had accepted the resignation of CSO Kurt Pritz, and would be reassigning Pritz' role in the rollout of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs).

Pritz was Icann's gTLD specialist. Until he became CSO he was VP for stakeholder relations. During the new, and delayed, gTLD programme he was the key person presenting many of the facts of the programme to various stakeholders.

Chehadé said, "Regretfully, I have accepted the resignation of Kurt Pritz, who has served most recently as Icann's chief strategy officer.

"Kurt has submitted his resignation because of a recently identified conflict of interest, which he immediately communicated to Icann. After analysing this conflict of interest, we decided that a change in Kurt’s role within Icann would be appropriate."

Icann did not explain what this conflict of interest was. "Kurt will be engaged as a subject matter expert where needed, but will have no access to new gTLD applicant information nor will he play a role in the new gTLD programme," said Chehadé.

"I have already put in place a plan for the reassignment of all of Kurt’s management responsibilities," added Chehadé.

The system behind the gTLD application process has been plagued by delays and outages this year, including a major outage in April put down to software errors in the application platform.

Earlier this week it was revealed that Dundee had been chosen by Icann for the location of a new root server in Scotland to support the internet's main infrastructure.

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