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Trouble in paradise? Uniregistry staff departures continue!

It seems that 2017 is a tough year for Uniregistry. Many people have left the company.

It is not clear if these departures have been lay-offs or resignations. Or if this is normal for Uniregistry although a few people have said it is not.

2 comments left at my article about GoDaddy that has stopped offering Uniregistry extensions caught my attention:

  • “Someone mentioned that uniregistry fired their exec staff, or cleaned office, is this true?”
  • “It’s true they fired a lot of people. From the top all the way down.”

Yesterday I read about Bret Fausett leaving his General Counsel role at Uniregistry in July after nearly six years at the company. Bret had been one of the most vocal people from Uniregistry.

I did some research and found a few other people that have left Uniregistry this year besides Bret Fausett.

Napoleon Milá de la Roca seems to not be the Operations Engineer at Uniregistry any more. His profile was removed from the University website.

John Smrekar, Director of Operations / Lead Product Manager – Registrar & Marketplace, left in July 2017 after 5 years and 2 months with the company.

Alina Syunkova, Marketing Associate, left in June 2017 after 8 months.

Sevan Derderian left Uniregistry for Trellian (above.com) in February 2017.

Sean Landreth, Domain Broker, left the company in February 2017 after 2 years and 7 months.

Sean Love, Account Executive, left the company in March 2017, after 8 months.

I am sure that there are more as many people do not update their LinkedIn profile immediately or don’t have one at all. (or I simply missed them in my search)

There seems to be some trouble in paradise, i.e. the Cayman Islands, and Uniregistry.

Trouble (related or not with the departures) with Uniregistry (the registry) began in March 2017 when Frank Schilling announced large price increases in the Uniregistry extensions. You can follow the saga here:

Frank Schilling just killed the New gTLD domain name program (Warning!)

The real percentages of the upcoming Uniregistry domain extension price increases (5% to 3115%)

The Uniregistry disaster continues: registrar increases domain retail prices by 62% to 75%

Too little, too late: Uniregistry will offer price protection on 9 domain extensions

Tucows stops support for 9 Uniregistry New gTLDs

Namecheap will discontinue several Uniregistry and XYZ domain extensions

GoDaddy will stop offering all Uniregistry domain names

Sold.Domains

About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He works on domain names, websites and software development. Has been online since 1995 & domaining since 2002.

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30 comments

  1. Interesting. Wonder if this is happening at other companies as well.

  2. John, was a big part of uniregistry rolling out, some top dogs, I think a few smaller ranked brokers have also left.

    Cutting costs? They are still making bank on the sales side, or hard to work with the boss?

  3. I think a lot of folks at Uniregistry got paid rather well and didn’t deliver. So they are trimming the fat now and let these people go. Hope they will hire more people with an actual industry background down the line.

  4. Salar Salahshoor, their Director of Growth, started this year and was gone by the middle of summer as well.

  5. is it because GTLD’s are going down?

  6. Mr. Zournas,

    Every company has turnover. Everyone has their own stories. Some leave companies to explore new careers, industries, situations, or positions. Sometimes companies need to part ways with employees no matter how hard it is.

    We have more employees than ever, especially on our sales teams. There is no trouble in paradise. Business has been great.

    By the way we are always looking for great sales people, and are hiring:

    https://itc.bamboohr.com/jobs/

    or email your sales resume to Brokerage@Uniregistry.com

    Jeffrey M. Gabriel
    Vice President of Sales
    Uniregistry – 1-949-416-2555 x6261

  7. “Your dream .com domain name is probably long gone. Thankfully .horse domains have opened up a whole new world of possibilities.”

    OMFG. I am not sure what is happening at Unireg, and this quote isn’t from Unireg so it’s probably unrelated to the crux of this post, but it is related to “Trouble In Paradise”, it’s a quote I put on my desktop a few years ago and I read it everyday to remind myself how f*cking stupid things can get, and to stick with investing in dream .com’s. This was an actual domain sales pitch…

  8. What about Vern? Heard Franks best friend isn’t there anymore either.

  9. im not sure your case holds water counselor, when i first saw your headline i was thinking 20, 30 people maybe had left….

    but as a i read i m seeing the 7 mentioned, going back months on some cases, no where near what some other consolidated new tld companies have cut, and the broker side is the main side, at least in my view.

    maybe a little hyperbole?

    page howe

  10. You also had the beautiful Amanda Fessenden who left Uniregistry to join ICANN.

    https://www.icann.org/profiles/amanda-fessenden

    Trouble in paradise it is. Sound like Cayman Ilsand has become Gilligan island.

  11. I wouldn’t read anything into this. Some people may miss their families and want to get back to the mainland. Jeff is right about the other stuff— sales reps have to close sales to put food on the table.

  12. Sounds like pivot away from new Gs towards brokerage. Makes sense. Warned yrs ago but was told “.com is your father’s extension”. Some learn the hard way consumer behavior very difficult to change. Lack of experience running large scale retail business. Pragmatism almost always trumps idealism. Frank hedged with large .com portfolio he’ll be ok.

  13. Rotation of employees will increase in general. Especially in newgTLD companies, smart industry veterans will resign if they aren’t paid well and expansion/sales expectations of their managers remain unrealistic to newgTLD performance.
    At the same time these companies will engage (preferably through “partnershiT” programs to avoid employment costs) naive newbies (pseudo-brokers) who will spam the world with offers of buying “premium” (oh gosh) domains. It’s been already happening.

  14. There are losing money on new gtlds. Seems the registrar and premium .com sales are what makes money. Who is surprised about that?

  15. According to linkedin their head count is increasing. If you have a premium account you can see this. If you want I can send you a screenshot. It’s turnover I’m sure. They seem to be growing the most in the sales dept.

    https://www.linkedin.com/company/3235998/?insightType=HEADCOUNT

  16. I won’t speak for anyone else, but I resigned at the end of July to go in a new direction personally. I had many great years with Frank and everyone in Cayman. I was the first Cayman work permit holder in 2011. I also met my wife there and we were married in late August in my hew hometown of Bend, Oregon. It was our decision not to relocate to Newport Beach and instead move to Bend for our ideal lifestyle. By law, you can’t stay in Cayman forever as a foreigner without some hefty commitments. I’ve been contracting to help some startups here in Bend on product strategy and growth which is working out great so far. Having been involved in domains since 2003, it’s refreshing. I really hope to keep in contact with all the great, and most certainly unique, people I met over the years – you never know.

  17. Janelle McAlister formally Product Manager at UniRegistry

    Is now at the new registrar BrandSight.com

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