Monday, September 05, 2011

Spiller rejects ICANN’s VP job, more controversy looms

There may be more than meets the eyes at the top management levels of the world’s coordinating agency for the internet, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

This follows the recent the last week rejection of the post of the vice president for ICANN Europe by Mr. Thomas Spiller, barely a month after the announcement that he would be resuming on August 29, 2011.

This is coming on the heels of controversy that trailed the supposed announcement of no second term agenda by the incumbent chief executive of ICANN, Mr. Rod Beckstrom.

Daily Champion recalls that ICANN had proclaimed Spiller’s appointment to the position on June 23, during its 41st public meeting in Singapore.

But the latest information from ICANN indicated that Mr. Spiller may have rejected the offer, consequent upon his informing ICANN that he would not be joining the organization as its Vice President of Europe.

Also, Daily Champion gathered that a search for an appropriate replacement has already begun.

Conversely, industry watchers are concerned that the rejection by Mr. Spiller may have met more than the ordinary eyes.

According to observers there must have been some reasons adduced by Mr. Spiller for not accepting the top management offer, which is not a good omen for the industry and ICANN as an institution.

The rejection by Mr. Spiller, industry observers further said may not be unconnected with the fact that Mr. Beckstrom, who may have worked hard to see Spiller occupy the second most powerful position in ICANN is on his way out of the organization buried on controversies which are not farfetched from the reported unhappiness with Beckstrom by the United States government on his roles in convincing the ICANN board to approve .xxx at a time America is yearning for moral rebirth and allotting self-glory to some good works done by the Internet and ICANN community.

However, equally of note is that Mr. Thomas Spiller was to become the first top executive in Brussels office based on the appointment cadre.

The post of the Vice President, Europe, is a newly created position from the Singapore meeting and reasons for decline the supposed good job is yet to be known.

In the hitherto new position, Mr. Spiller, a French national was to be responsible for driving ICANN’s strategic objectives in Europe and managing the Brussels office as well as the focal point for regional issues.

Spiller has a wealth of broad experience gained through a career that includes corporate, legal, and political appointments.

He worked for the French Prime Minister’s Office and most recently headed up global policy strategy at Statistical Analysis Software (SAS), one of the world’s largest independent software vendors.

Spiller has worked on topics ranging from education, sustainability and innovation to data privacy and cloud computing.

However, responding to the appointment of Mr. Spiller, the ICANN president, Mr. Rod Beckstrom had noted that the new position was vital for the global expansion and deepening of ICANN.

“And we were lucky to find Thomas Spiller, who has a solid track record of performance and a good understanding of the complex issues affecting our community,” he said.

Beckstrom pointed out that Spiller has worked with a variety of international policy forums, trade associations and multilateral organizations that are active in Information Technology and Internet issues around the world.

Additionally, Mr. Spiller, who had then expressed optimism on his new post, stated that he looks forward to reinforcing ICANN’s outreach to all stakeholders and strengthening the ongoing inclusive dialogue with Europe’s Internet users, national governments, European Union (EU) institutions and business.

“I’m excited about contributing to the organization’s crucial role in keeping the global Internet open to all and in providing an extraordinary platform for social and economic progress,” Spiller was quoted as saying.

Before joining SAS, Spiller, a lawyer by training, spent 10 years working on global public policy and legal issues involving energy, defense and aerospace.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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