Palage Resigns from ICANN Board
Date: Wednesday April 05 2006, @08:17AM
Topic: Board of Directors

According to a letter dated April 3, 2006, forwarded to me by a reliable registrar, Michael Palage resigned from the ICANN Board, effective two days ago, Monday. Palage's term was due to run until June 2008.

I have not been able to confirm this:

  • So far this doesn't appear to be reflected on the ICANN site which still lists him as a member of the Board of Directors
  • As of this writing, the archive of the GNSO Council Mailing list, which says it was last updated on 2006 Apr 05, contains no entries dated after March 26, 2006, even though this message was copied to that list. (But then again, the GNSO hates cross-posting.)
  • I called ICANN at 9:45 AM California time and was told that there was no one in the office I could speak to about this. I was directed to leave voice mail for the press office, which I did.
  • I also left voice mail at Mr. Palage's office in Florida, but haven't heard back yet
I will update this post when I know more.

[Update: 04/05 17:10 GMT by Michael: I now have confirmation from another reliable source.]

[Update: 04/05 22:33 GMT by Michael: - I've spoken to Michael Palage and he confirms the story. ICANN never called me back. (Some press office, huh?)]

Here's the text of the resignation letter forwarded to me:

[] On Behalf Of Michael D. Palage
Sent: Monday, April 03, 2006 8:59 AM
Cc: John Jeffrey;
Subject: [registrars] FYI

Dear GNSO Council,

Effective immediately, I hereby resign from the ICANN Board of Directors. What I would now like to do now is briefly explain the basis for my decision so that there is no speculation or conjecture.

Over the past year I have thought about resigning from the ICANN Board. This is a decision which I had shared privately with a number of people including some of my fellow directors. Although I came to the ICANN Board with a number of ties to the industry based upon my consulting arrangements with various registration authorities, over the past year it has become increasingly difficult for me to do the best job that this organization deserves because of my various professional relationships. This was something that was further reinforced during the Board's Conflict Committee Meeting which I participated in last week.

As I look ahead at a number of the challenges that this organization faces, I feel that I can best contribute by going back to the "bottom" in the bottom up consensus process. This decision has been made easier because of some of the change which is currently taking place within the ICANN Board. Although the community, particularly the GNSO, may question some of the recent decisions of the Board, I can give you my word that things are slowly changing in the right direction. Moreover, if I did not believe in the long term health of this organization, I would not continue my involvement in it. In the future please look to the IP Constituency, Registrar, Registry and Business constituencies for my continued involvement within the GNSO, as well as the ALAC if they accept my offer to help out.

As this body considers selecting my replacement, I urge it to consider the very important crossroads at which ICANN stands. In my opinion there are very few people that have the ability to step in and make the necessary impact that the ICANN stakeholder community deserves.

Best regards,

There has always been a major tension between the corporatist design of ICANN (in which conflicts of interest are a design feature, not but) and the US-style idea of preventing conflicts of interest. In the past ICANN has rarely enforce its conflict rules, and at least in some cases even when Directors announced they would not vote on an issue they took part in its consideration.

In light of ICANN's history of going easy on conflicts issues -- in part explained by differing national ideas of how conflicts should be managed -- I'm uncertain what to make of this (assuming it's real). Does this signal an awakening in ICANN's conflict policy, or is it just that Mr. Palage, had his finger in so many different ICANN-related activities, instead of the usual concentration in one industry? Or could it be retaliation by ICANN insiders for his opposition the the majority's views on issues like the Verisign deal? Or was it just no fun being a director any more? Or something else entirely?

My guess is that we should take this at face value, although it's odd that the conflict issues should arise now rather than when Mr. Palage took office. One thing is clear: the end of the day, it still seems like we knew more about the Kremlin's inner workings....

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interview with Palage
by ehasbrouck on Thursday April 06 2006, @07:15AM (#16679)
User #3130 Info |
ICANN Board member quits: Michael Palage takes handcuffs off [] (Kieren McCarthy, 6 April 2006)
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and more on Kieren McCarthy's blog
by ehasbrouck on Thursday April 06 2006, @11:54AM (#16680)
User #3130 Info |
Mike Palage quits ICANN Board []
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