As part of the orderly transition at the management level that’s happening at the .de ccTLD registry DENIC, Thomas Keller joined the DENIC Executive Board as new full-time member on 1 October. This follows his appointment in June by the Supervisory Board and DENIC General Assembly to succeed Dr. Jörg Schweiger, who announced earlier this year he was stepping down on 31 December.
Thomas Keller is one of the most experienced people in the German domain name industry. He has been a Director of Domain Services at 1&1 IONOS SE, one of Germany’s largest web hosting and domain name registrars, where he has been one of the key people behind the company’s success since 1997.
Keller also has a long experience in ICANN’s activities, representing the European registrars in ICANN’s sub-organisation the GNSO (Generic Names Supporting Organization) from 2003 to 2008. And he has been involved in DENIC since 2007 being a member of DENIC’s Supervisory Board, of which he was a member until May 2021, as well as holding the position of chair since 2013.
“I am pleased that with Tom Keller we were able to win an experienced expert of the domain industry for DENIC. He will easily integrate into the Board team without much induction being required,” said the Chairman of the DENIC Supervisory Board, Dr. Johannes Loxen.
Keller was equally effusive saying he is looking forward to his new challenge as part of the management of DENIC eG.
“As the operator of an indispensable basic infrastructure for the Internet in Germany, a vital resource of the future, DENIC is an important cornerstone for ensuring that the digital transformation of society in this country can succeed on a sustainable basis.”
“I am very proud to now share this special responsibility in a leading position and to play an active role in shaping DENIC’s further future-oriented development. For me, this includes a clear commitment to continuously strengthen DENIC’s business excellence and thus ensure the maximum availability and utmost security of all our services and systems for the German and the international Internet community on a permanent basis.”
Schweiger, who announced in January he would step down at the end of 2021, spoke to me in June on his time at DENIC, including his views on why he thought new gTLDs missed a great opportunity to do something with “innovative new business models”, the importance of security to DENIC and the challenges of GDPR as well as the future of domain names. Jörg even wonders if ICANN can continue its relevance with cost pressures, global regulations and divergent views amongst its “broad multi-faceted community.”
Going forward, in addition to Keller, the other full-time member of the Executive Board remains Andreas Musielak and the Executive Board’s honorary members continue to be Martin Küchenthal and Sebastian Röthler.