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The auDA Merry-Go-Round Continues as Another Employee Bites the Dust

The employee disaster zone that is auDA continues to dismay. This week Domain Pulse learned of another of CEO Cameron Boardman’s Executive Assistants is to leave after only about 4 months in the job. Whether they’re leaving on their own accord or not is not clear, but it follows the previous Executive Assistant being given notice while she was on sick leave having cancer treatment.

The disgraceful treatment of Jacki O’Sullivan, who has since sadly passed away, appears to be symptomatic of the current management and board. O’Sullivan was well liked and respected within the industry and by Domain Pulse. At the end of the 2016/17 financial year she and at least 2 others, also well respected and liked within the domain name industry, didn’t have their contracts renewed, nor were any of them given the opportunity to reapply for their positions.

O’Sullivan was also one of the few remaining links to the leadership of former CEO Chris Disspain. And industry talk is that the constant changes have contributed to the low staff morale. Of 14 staff, including Disspain, who were employed at the organisation at the time Disspain unexpectedly was forced out, it is believed only 2 remain. And others have come and gone, some of them high profile employees employed for their industry expertise but who found the workplace intolerable.

Domain Pulse doesn’t want to cause offence or displeasure to O’Sullivan’s friends and family, but her disgraceful treatment appears to be symptomatic of the current state of the organisation.

The changes though keep coming at auDA. In 2017 alone, 5 auDA Directors have resigned and another 3 in 2016, all outside the normal AGM election. And this week auDA has announced the appointment of 2 new Directors – Suzanne Ewart and Chris Leptos. According to the auDA announcement, Ewart “brings experience in strategy, treasury and finance for some of Australia’s major ASX listed companies to her new role as Independent Director of auDA” while “Leptos is an experienced Non-Executive Director across several sectors, and a Professorial Fellow with Monash University.”

And as Domainer has noted today, 9 of the 11 auDA Directors are based in Victoria, or 10 of the 12 when you add the CEO Cameron Boardman who is a non-voting member of the Board. As Domainer also notes, there are more states of Australia than Victoria, and the lack of diversity is appalling. It makes one think it’s a cosy Victorian club they’re putting together at auDA. It would also be interesting to know how many of the current Directors are members of the Victorian branch of the Liberal Party.

 * No comment was sought from auDA as they have said they do not speak to online publications and do not consider them media, and previously have not responded to Domain Pulse/Goldstein Report’s enquiries.