A campaign that is calling for a Nominet Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) and plans to remove the current Chair, Remuneration Chair and Executive Directors and replace them with new directors has made Nominet feel the heat. Nominet has now started making promises. Too little too late.
The campaign accuses Nominet’s board that it is pouring money into unnecessary diversifications and acquisitions (and their own pockets), instead of reducing .uk wholesale prices.
The campaign has already secured the 5% of voting rights (between Nominet members) required to call an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM). So far 209 Nominet members have signed the campaign that represent 1,007,426 voting rights (14.2% at the time of writing).
Nominet board has issued a statement saying that “the EGM proposal destabilises the organisation and, as a result, is not in the interest of members, registrars or registrants. If the EGM initiative achieves its aims, it will leave the company leaderless and facing an exodus of the highly-skilled staff we depend on to maintain the highly complex registry service we provide. It will erode trust and confidence in .UK, which is part of critical national infrastructure, and put Nominet’s independence at risk.”
That is simply BS. Nominet and .UK does not really depend on the board to run day to day operations.
The board say that it has planned a lot of initiatives. Those measures, outlined below, include freezing .UK prices and increasing public benefit spending. They will be implemented in the days and weeks following the EGM, on the basis that the resolution is defeated.
- Scaling our commitment to Public Benefit: We have developed an effective public benefit programme which tackles some of the most important digital issues facing young people today. We are scaling up this work and will have committed £4 million by June, double the amount of last year. In future years we will devote 10% of revenues to public benefit initiatives, putting Nominet at the forefront of UK businesses committed to purpose and good causes.
- Freezing .UK prices for at least the next two years: Recognising the difficult economic climate for many businesses, we will implement a price freeze until at least the end of 2022.
- Addressing Board remuneration: We will likewise freeze board-level pay through the end of 2022.
- Investing in .UK infrastructure: running a secure and reliable internet domain space has become an increasingly complex task. We are investing £20 million over the next three years in our next generation registry infrastructure, drawing on our reserves for the funding.
- Launching a Registry Advisory Council (RAC): This will be a new body with members elected directly by different sectors of the membership. The RAC Chair will be a member-elected Non-Executive director on the main board, and its remit will include a key role in price setting and policy making.
- Improving membership engagement: We are launching a new Member Hub, giving members access to useful statistics and information. We also acknowledge that the decision to close the Nominet Forum, and the way in which this was done, damaged our relationship with some members in a way we had not intended. In conjunction with the RAC, we will therefore launch a well-governed next-generation member forum.
- Increasing financial transparency: From our next financial year, we will give greater clarity about the investment in, and performance of, the Cyber Business unit.
This kind of reminds me how desperate Ethos Capital got when it was trying to acquire .org and the deal was falling apart.
Too little, too late mates!