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ICANN Leader to Depart

Change comes as Internet group faces transition

The president and chief executive officer of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the group that regulates Internet domain names, will leave ICANN in 2016.

Fadi Chehade will leave ICANN in March after a three-year tenure to pursue work in the private sector outside the domain name industry, the organization said.

“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,” he stated.

Chehade has supported allowing ICANN to move away from U.S. government control. ICANN now maintains the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority through a contract with the U.S. Commerce Dept.

The Obama administration had set September as a deadline to determine if ICANN is ready for greater independence, reporting only to an undefined network of international stakeholders.

Many, including some GOP lawmakers, have pushed back against the idea of giving ICANN more autonomy, questioning whether it’s ready.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration says it remains committed to transitioning its stewardship of the Internet Domain Name System.