Tag Archives: Lesley Cowley

Nominet Announces Shock Resignation Of CEO Cowley

Nominet have announced the surprising resignation of CEO Lesley Cowley, effective 9 July, after 15 years with the .uk registry.”After 15 years at Nominet, it is now the right time to move on,” Cowley said in a Nominet statement. “It has been a privilege to lead Nominet for the past 12 years and I am incredibly proud of our achievements in that time. It is the staff team that make Nominet so special and I would like to especially thank each of them for their amazing efforts over the last decade and a half.”The move came without warning and comes after there has been some criticism of the organisation, although criticism appears to be par for the course for domain name registries with their stakeholder involvement.According to Domain Incite, “a small but vocal group of Nominet members has been trying to get her kicked out for the last few years, alleging among other things that she lied to members. Nominet tells me Cowley’s resignation has nothing to do with that.””Under Lesley’s leadership, Nominet has earned a well-deserved reputation for excellent service, and Lesley has played a leading role within the internet sector and wider IT world,” said Rennie Fritchie DBE, Nominet Chair. “The Board thanks Lesley for her dedication and commitment, and for her achievement in making the UK namespace a trusted online home for the millions who use it.”Until a new CEO is appointed, In the meantime, Nominet will be run by a leadership team – the Chief Operating Officer, the Chief Technology Officer and the Chief Commercial Officer, working closely with the Nominet Chair.

Nominet CEO Wins Leadership Award From ICANN For Contributions To Domain Community

Nominet logo[news release] Lesley Cowley, CEO of Nominet – the internet company best known for running the .uk internet infrastructure – has been awarded the inaugural ICANN Leadership Award for her contributions to the domain name industry.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which is responsible for the coordination of global Internet systems, presented the award at its latest meeting, held in Buenos Aires to mark its 15th anniversary. Ms Cowley was praised for her leadership of Nominet and her extraordinary energy, knowledge and leadership in the domain name community.

“Lesley’s commitment to the multi-stakeholder model of ICANN has no doubt contributed to its success. She has been instrumental in improving the relationship between ICANN and the various Supporting Organisations and Advisory Committees, as well as building tremendous trust with the ccTLD community and helping to create the DNS Women Group,” explained Fadi Chehade, the President and CEO of ICANN.

Accepting the award, Ms Cowley said: “It’s a great honour to receive the very first ICANN award for leadership. I’ve had the opportunity to lead some incredibly professional and dedicated teams, both at Nominet and at ICANN, who are hugely committed to the multi-stakeholder model and to serving the many stakeholders in order to make a positive difference to the Internet. I’d therefore like to dedicate this award to them.”

The new annual award, which acknowledges an individual’s leadership in protecting ICANN’s multi-stakeholder model, is decided unanimously by the ICANN leadership team.

For more information from the ICANN meeting, visit buenosaires48.icann.org.

About Nominet

Domain names are one of the key building blocks of the internet – an essential component of every email address and website. Millions of businesses and consumers now depend on Nominet’s services, which underpin a critical part of the UK internet economy.

Nominet is a private, not-for-profit business, responsible for the smooth and secure running of the .uk internet infrastructure.  We have over 2,800 members and are committed to acting in the public interest.

Nominet has also recently been chosen by several brands and communities to launch and manage new top level domains; wales, .cymru, .bbc .bentley, .comcast and .xfinity.

With the proceeds of their successful registry business, Nominet set up and supports the Nominet Trust, an independent charitable foundation focussed on increasing access, safety and education on internet issues.

As part of a commitment to making the internet a more trusted space, Nominet has also developed an information and advice portal – www.knowthenet.org.uk – which helps internet users to get the most of being online by staying safe, legal, and informed.

Follow Nominet on Twitter here, or visit its blog here.


ICANN’s mission is to ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet you have to type an address into your computer – a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers across the world. Without that coordination we wouldn’t have one global Internet. ICANN was formed in 1998. It is a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with participants from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet’s unique identifiers. ICANN doesn’t control content on the Internet. It cannot stop spam and it doesn’t deal with access to the Internet. But through its coordination role of the Internet’s naming system, it does have an important impact on the expansion and evolution of the Internet. For more information please visit: www.icann.org

Nominet Announces Discontinuing Legal Action Against That Internet Ltd

Nominet logoNominet announced it has discontinued its legal action against Mr Graeme Wingate and That Internet Ltd in a statement yesterday.

The decision was taken by the Nominet Board, and by Lesley Cowley, who were the co-claimants, in order that the company can focus on its programme to evolve the .uk namespace and push forward with the wider development of Nominet.

The company continues to refute entirely the untrue allegations made.

Attempts at mediation, initiated by Nominet, preceded and post-dated the commencement of legal proceedings. Both sides met recently to try to find an amicable solution, but this was unsuccessful.

In their statement, Nominet said they had hoped for a swift resolution to this dispute, and that it has taken several months to get to the position they are in today, with the third attempt at a defence now tabled by the defendant.

Having initiated action, protocol requires the company to pay costs of the other party, which will be assessed at a later hearing if not agreed. However, the company judges that this will be a fraction of the costs (both financial and in management time) of continuing with a long-running and increasingly broad-ranging dispute.

“With a major programme of work underway to transform the .uk namespace, this action is now an unwelcome distraction,” said Cowley. “I refute the allegations entirely, but recognise that a far better use of the team’s time and energy is to focus on steering Nominet safely through a period of unprecedented change.”

Nominet CEO Awarded OBE in Queen’s New Year’s Honours List

Nominet logoNominet, the .UK registry, announced their CEO was awarded an OBE for services to the internet and e-commerce in the 2011 Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.

The honours list recognises outstanding achievement and service across the whole of the United Kingdom and is published twice a year, at new year and in mid-June on the date of the Queen’s birthday.

Baroness Rennie Fritchie DBE, Chair of Nominet, expressed her support of Cowley’s award, saying “Lesley has worked with vision and commitment to ensure that the UK has one of the largest and most successful Internet infrastructures in the world. But she has also gone well beyond the call of duty to ensure that the UK is actively influencing international policy to make sure the Internet is a safe and trusted place. All involved with Nominet congratulate her on this deserved award.”

Cowley was equally pleased saying the award marked a “wonderful start” to 2011.

“2010 was a major year for us in many ways and this is a wonderful start to 2011. I was surprised and delighted to receive this great honour. This award is recognition of the hard work and commitment of all of the Nominet staff, and everyone involved with Nominet, to make using the internet a trusted and positive experience for all.”

Europe Registry logoTo register your .UK name, check out Europe Registry here.