There was a press release today by Minds + Machines announcing that Antony Van Couvering is no longer the Chief Executive Officer of the Company. Mr Van Couvering was removed from office with immediate effect by means of a unanimous resolution of directors passed at a meeting of directors held on 19 February 2016.
The Company’s new Chief Marketing Officer is Toby Hall.
Here are 5 reasons why I think Antony Van Couvering was removed from the company he founded:
- One reason can be found in the press release: “The Group is currently making the transition from asset gatherer to monetisation of its leading portfolio of top-level domains;”.
- The group’s New gTLDs are not selling. If you take out .work that was sold very cheap and .london (that is only managed by M+M) all the other New gTLDs in the M+M are underperforming. See #1.
- The company’s taste in New gTLDs has been questionable at best. See .horse.
- The .London launch and subsequent management was and still is a mess. .London has a lower number of registrations than expected.
- Antony Van Couvering had a total disregard for registrars. I wrote about this in a post. Maybe the M+M board was paying attention.
I find rather ironic what Antony wrote in a blog post today:
Many registrars still do not fully support new gTLDs that aren’t plain-vanilla .com clones.
Yes, maybe that is partly because Antony said in last year’s NamesCon that he didn’t care about registrar support. He didn’t care if a few registrars didn’t carry its companies New gTLD strings. All he cared was that his domain names were getting registered. At his registrar! Well guess what? His domain names are not getting registrered.
And of course Minds + Machines has been famous for being anti-domainer: “Dot Com is Dead? Seriously? Is Mind + Machines trying to get domainers mad?”.
The Group’s annual report and accounts for the 12 months ended 31 December 2015 will be announced on 27 April 2016. I don’t expect the results to be good.