Being the intrepid “reporter” that I am, I noticed when the nominations came out that there was one glaring omission in Demand Class. Stuart Benjamin is a current Demand Class Director, as well as being Chairman of auDA. He was due for re-election at this AGM – however, he has not nominated. This means only one incumbent Demand Class Director is standing for re-election (Simon Johnson).
So is Stuart Benjamin retiring from auDA? The simple answer is no.
My sources tell me that he is to become an Independent Director. I’m not sure whether this has been ratified as yet, but no doubt members will be informed when the “powers that be” deem it necessary. 🙁
The “unhappy face” denotes my attitude towards another specific example of lack of communication with members. As there is an AGM and election taking place in just over 2 weeks, it was (and is) incumbent upon the auDA Board and management to have already advised members of such a significant change.
As for the move itself, it makes a lot of sense to me. Stability in the role of Chairman is vital. The former Chairman (Tony Staley, AO) was (and is) an Independent Director. I think a Chairman needs to ostensibly be independent. Stuart Benjamin is a good guy in my opinion, and I’m really happy to see him in this role.
With the recent appointment of Leonie Walsh, this now brings the quota of Independent Directors back up to three (including Stuart). There is also a proposal to expand the Independents to four. This will be voted on at the AGM.
There is another positive to this move of Stuart Benjamin to Independent Director. He would have been a formidable candidate if he had stood for re-election in Demand Class. Now there are two positions vacant, and domain investors have a very good chance of getting one (if not two) of their candidates elected.
What are your thoughts?
Ned O’Meara – 11th November 2016