auDA and Out: Controversial auDA CEO Gone

auDA logo

Late Tuesday an announcement many were expecting in recent days came with auDA CEO Cameron Boardman announcing his resignation.

Rumours had been flying around the Australian domain name industry late last week with the expectation Boardman would be going. However in a statement last week when Domain Pulse asked of the employment status of the CEO, an auDA spokesperson said “The CEO is currently in his office preparing for meetings later next week regarding the launch of the Direct Registration marketing campaign.” But that might have not been totally truthful and could depend on what the definition of the office was.

A statement announcing Boardman’s resignation on the auDA website, states “the auDA Board today reluctantly accepted the resignation of auDA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Cameron Boardman.” The statement than goes on to shower Boardman with praise, but many that Domain Pulse have spoken to since he commenced in August 2016 have not agreed.

Under Boardman’s leadership there have been 2 Chairs resign plus 8 directors finishing in 2017 and 3 in 2018, court cases to stop or delay Special General Meetings (one of which led to the resignation of the then Chair), a government review that said in part auDA was “no longer fit-for-purpose and reform is necessary if the company is to perform effectively and meet the needs of Australia’s internet community”, allegations of stacking the membership which led to “reforms” that saw the influence of members of the organisation dramatically curtailed, a massive turnover of employees with one employee terminated while on leave having cancer treatment (who subsequently sadly died) as well as other key staff recruited and then leaving quickly. There was also a controversial registry tender with the organisation first stating they would build and operate the registry themselves and then backtracking as well as allegations of inappropriate expenses by employees and the CEO prior to Boardman’s time as CEO. This led to a referral to Victorian Police that was without foundation and went nowhere.

In their statement, auDA says “the process to select a replacement will commence immediately through the Board. Until that process is complete, auDA’s current executive team will collectively carry out the CEO’s responsibilities. This will ensure continuity and a seamless transition to a new CEO.”

This story may be updated as more information becomes available.