Time Will Tell, auDA

Just my quick bullet point overview of yesterday. I’ll write a more detailed version over the next couple of days – in fact, I might even do an audio summary.

♦  The Directors and CEO all met behind closed doors for at least an hour before meeting started. Team and tactics talk obviously – to be expected.

♦  The webinar side of the meeting was a total stuff up. Outside parties couldn’t initially hear; and they certainly couldn’t type in questions as was promised. A new link was sent out to members, but they missed the first 30 minutes, and still had no ability to ask questions. As I later quipped, the only thing they missed was listening to the CEO Cameron Boardman!

♦  Our S249 Members was effectively hijacked by auDA – we had to listen to the “same old, same old” mantra from the CEO for the first 45 minutes. Unbelievable. In my opinion, that was rude and disrespectful of members. If Mr Boardman was expecting applause from the audience, he didn’t get a ripple!

♦  Erhan Karabardak was in “charm and contrition mode” – “we’re here to listen to members concerns”.

♦  Stuart Benjamin was effectively airbrushed from history – and questions about statements he had recently made were deflected.

♦  Erhan was firmly in control, and he shut down any awkward questions about past governance by trotting out the standard line about Board confidentiality. Advice received about ongoing actions was subject to legal and professional privilege. So in other words, members are no further enlightened about some of the rumours and innuendo that have been leaked from auDA over the past year. Disappointing to say the least.

♦  Individual Directors did not comment – except at the end when Erhan let Simon Johnson speak (in answer to a question from me about our Demand Class representatives not being “allowed” to comment on any platform about anything to do with auDA). He stated “that he was not muzzled by the auDA Board”, and was always available to talk to members. Unfortunately, Tim Connell didn’t speak.

♦  Unfortunately, I did not get to ask the first question. That honour went to Adrian Kinderis from AusRegistry. He took the CEO to task over his initial presentation – particularly some of the “facts” outlined. As an astute student of human interaction, there is no love lost between them. I think Adrian had some very valid points, but the CEO effectively “ducked and dived” with his answers (in my opinion).

♦  Josh Rowe (former Director) then asked three good questions, and made an excellent statement at the end about how each and every Director would be held accountable moving forward if change was not made.

♦  My initial comment reflected my disappointment that our members meeting was effectively hijacked. I reiterated the three resolutions (that auDA invalidated) were the real concerns of members, and that we wanted to discuss those today regardless. I ended my first question to Cameron Boardman with this:

“Cameron, how can we ever trust anything you tell members?”

♦  Brett Fenton asked some telling questions. He is someone that is so respected in the industry. I’ll wait until the audio cast is ready and then link to that (so you can hear for yourself).

♦  Snoopy asked some ripper questions – particularly about the Code of Conduct. He was in fine form. Wait for the audio!

♦  And as for the very shy “Lemon”, he started slowly – but finished strongly. He had some great questions which really put the pressure on.

♦  A major highlight was the discussion around the appointment of Dr Michaella Richards as a replacement Demand Class Director for Miguel Wood. I think there will be a lot more to be said about this – particularly the process. I believe her position is untenable. Let’s hope I don’t get accused of being “sexist” or “bullying” by expressing that opinion!

Conclusion

We’ll get some superficial changes out of this S249 process, but overall, I don’t think much is going to change until we get some significant replacements on the Board.

Sorry I haven’t covered everything and everyone as yet. More to follow …

Ned O’Meara – 1st August 2017


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15 thoughts on “Time Will Tell, auDA

  • Avatar
    August 1, 2017 at 9:43 am
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    Great summary Ned, here’s my FB live video of chunk of the SGM (until my battery went flat).

     

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    • Avatar
      August 1, 2017 at 8:19 pm
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      Thanks Josh! I watched your whole recording and hope to see the rest. That was very interesting!

      Great questions from you and Ned! You’re both top blokes in my book; really awesome guys!

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    • Ned O'Meara
      August 2, 2017 at 9:07 am
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      Thanks Josh – appreciate the effort to do that. auDA wanted (notice I use past tense) to run a registry, yet they can’t even sort a webinar out. Or their website.

      Hopefully they will do as promised and get the video up quick.

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  • Avatar
    August 1, 2017 at 10:33 am
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    Neil Young was there with in spirit !

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    • Ned O'Meara
      August 2, 2017 at 8:01 am
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      I knew you’d get the lyrics Rod! 🙂

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  • Shane Moore
    August 1, 2017 at 10:37 am
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    Thanks for the summary Ned.  I watched Josh’s FB live video this morning, and look forward to hearing the rest of the audio.  From what I’ve heard so far, the CEO and deputy chair were very much in politician mode.

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  • Avatar
    August 1, 2017 at 11:42 am
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    “We’re here to listen…”, what a joke.

    I thought ScottL also made them very uncomfortable with some very blunt feedback.

     

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  • Avatar
    August 1, 2017 at 12:53 pm
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    Who is the new auDA Chair?

    I nominate Nicole Murdoch for the new auDA Board Chair.  She can go head to head about legal issues with others on the auDA Board or giving “advice”, she has real domain name industry experience and is not just a political party or close mate of other at auDA or the auDA Board.

    Maybe Nicole can bring some innovation, accountability, best practice and transparency to auDA and the auDA Board all in line with legal limitations and the rights of Supply /Demand members and Government.

    Nicole has the experience required and is not just after the role for some extra money $$, another CV title or the auDA Gravy Train jetsetting many have written about over the years needs to stop.

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicolemurdoch/

    Surely the CEO and auDA Board could see her as a suitable candidate? Nicole has already put her hand up for the role if asked.

     

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    • Avatar
      August 1, 2017 at 2:06 pm
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      This is undecided, was covered a fair bit so hopefully the video will be up soon. They claim the new chair will be independent, we shall see.

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    • Avatar
      August 2, 2017 at 2:08 pm
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      Thank you for your support, Sean. I am eager to help.

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  • Avatar
    August 1, 2017 at 3:48 pm
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    It was a nervous experience but hopefully they got the message and we do actually see some progress.

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  • Avatar
    August 1, 2017 at 4:18 pm
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    It is a shame that it was a nervous experience but this is the stuff Boards thrive on to keep members in check. Speaking up is hard – so well done all!

    I am only so-so about how that meeting went.

    As Ned said, nearly an hour of CEO propaganda wasn’t appropriate. Neither was the aggressive tone he took with a number of members.

    I never thought I would see the day where Adrian Kinderis had to lecture the auDA Board about the idea of a “bottom-up, consensus-based” policy model. Shame that.

    I heard nothing from the CEO that shows he has learnt how these things work in the Domain Name space. I look forward to being surprised.

    Chair selection will be the first challenge, but that sounded like a very controlled, consultant-heavy process. The CEO needs to understand that paying a consultant many thousands of dollars and then stepping back does not make “an independent process”.

    You know what would be fun? For the Board and CEO to release a draft job statement and selection criteria for the new Chair – for member feedback. Or open a poll. Or shoot an email to all members asking for ideas. Or an online #newauDAChair consultation. It would only need to take a week or two.

     

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    • Avatar
      August 1, 2017 at 4:48 pm
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      Absolutely spot on. Those that control the criteria for the job selection control the outcome. Politics 101.

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    • Avatar
      August 2, 2017 at 2:12 pm
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      Members need to be heard but don’t turn it into a popularity contest. As we learn from politics, running a good campaign and being elected on votes does not make you suitable for the job.

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  • Avatar
    August 1, 2017 at 5:38 pm
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    Well I for one will be staying in *wait and watch mode*  who knows I might eventually be ‘pleasantly surprised’ …  A girl can dream I guess … … …

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