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April 05, 2020

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Here's the The Lowdown from DN Journal,
updated daily
to fill you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name industry. 

The Lowdown is compiled by DN Journal Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.

Restructuring of  CentralNic Leadership Team Puts 5 Executives in New Roles as COO Exits

CentralNic Group PLC (AIM: CNIC) has announced a restructuring of their leadership team that resulted in five executives moving into new positions. They will help oversee a workforce of some 400 employees in one of the industry's fastest growing companies.


Over 45 million domains are currently using CentralNic platforms that are customized for every domain customer type (registry, reseller, corporate, SMB and domain investor).

CentralNic CEO Ben Crawford said, ”I take great pleasure in welcoming our new hires and appointees into their new roles, and I am confident we have the best team in place to maintain our track record of growth. In these difficult times, these new hires and changes reflect our confidence in the robustness of our business."

Two of those appointees are Robbie Birkner (top left) and Tony Kim (top right) who co-founded the popular Vancouver, Canada based Hexonet.com domain registrar that CentralNic acquired last year. Birkner, a 20-year industry veteran, becomes the Head of Reseller Division, the largest of the company's business divisions in terms of revenue. He will have oversight of the strategic direction, expansion and operation of all CentralNic wholesale channels and platforms for domain names, which encompasses the leading reseller brands of RRPproxy by Key-Systems, Hexonet, PartnerGate, TPP Wholesale and more. Kim's new post is Head of Product, responsible for managing new product development and onboarding across Group companies. Tony has over 18 years of experience in the industry. Before co-founding Hexonet he was General Manager at Hostway Canada and Director of Product Development for Hostway Corp USA.

Stuart Fuller (top left) has been appointed as the Head of Brand Services Division, overseeing BrandShelter and CentralNic’s interest in Thomsen Trampedach, which delivers domain portfolio management and brand protection services to Corporate clients. Stuart brings over 14 years of experience in the industry and joined CentralNic three years ago as Group Commercial Director, after eleven years at corporate domain name management and brand protection firm NetNames (now CSC). 

Gavin Brown (top right) has been appointed Head of Registry Solutions, providing registry software and managed services to country code Top-Level Domain names globally. CentralNic is also the world’s leading distributor of new Top-Level Domains, with a global market share of over 47% and those will be under Brown's purview as well. Brown, who has 20 years of industry experience and is CentralNic's longest-serving employee, will also retain his role as Chief Innovation Officer for the Group. Before taking that role in 2019, Gavin was CTO of CentralNic for fourteen years.

The talented quintet of appointees also includes Oliver Fries (at left), who has been appointed Head of Shared Services, and will oversee technology and other shared services for the Reseller, Retail, Registry Solutions and Brand Services business divisions. Oliver brings over 17 years of experience in technical and managerial roles and will be focusing on key activities around infrastructure, systems, development, support and domain procurement. 

Oliver previously held the position of CTO at CentralNic’s subsidiary Key-Systems where he played a key role in shaping its core technology as well as helping the company grow and evolve. He previously worked in the Telecommunication sector as a software developer and project manager.

While those five executives are taking on new roles, another will be leaving. CEO Crawford said, “I regret to inform you that Alex Siffrin, our COO for Centralnic Group, and Founder/CEO of KeyDrive, has decided it is time for a new challenge and therefore is stepping down from his role with CentralNic. Alex’s legacy will live on in CentralNic as we continue to develop the great businesses he built, which will now pass into the very capable hands of the team of hugely talented people that Alex hired and nurtured over the past two decades. Alex remains a valued stakeholder, and his family remains one of the largest shareholders of CentralNic."

(Posted April 1, 2020)  

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