Infamous ICANN board squatter Hans Kraaijenbrink has died.
In a tribute to the Dutchman, ICANN chairman Vint Cerf said Hans had "played a key role in the evolution and reform of ICANN... seeking always to balance the interests of many constituencies. Always ready to serve when asked, his vision and determination will be sorely missed”.
He continued: “We were most fortunate to be able to work with him over the past five years and offer our collective condolences to all of his friends and family. We sincerely hope that his family will be sustained in this sad time by the love of family and friends who knew and valued him as a friend and colleague.”
Following a distinguished career in the Dutch government and the Netherlands’ telecoms regulator, Mr Kraaijenbrink was a controversial figure in ICANN following his appointment as one of the original ICANN directors in 1998.
He was one of the infamous “boardsquatters” who rewrote ICANN bylaws to extend their tenure in the overseeing organisation. Mr Kraaijenbrink was also a staunch supporter of numerous issues pushed through by the Board against the wishes of the wider Net community.
He was rewarded with numerous high-ranking posts in influential ICANN committees, including chairman of the Reconsideration Committee and the Board Governance Committee. He was also a member of the Executive Committee, the Election Committee and the CEO Search Committee. In short, he was a major figure in defining and creating the ICANN organisation that exists today.
Mr Kraaijenbrink finally stepped down as a board member in June this year but was almost immediately given the important post of chairman of the 2004 Nominating Committee. The committee is responsible for deciding all future ICANN directors, following the widely criticised decision by the Board to scrap the “At Large” directors - the only board members chosen by those outside the elitist organisation.
The sad passing of Mr Kraaijenbrink gives ICANN head Paul Twomey the opportunity to appoint someone who is not seen as a member of the old guard to the chairman’s post. It would certainly bolster confidence in the newly “reformed” ICANN if he chose someone seen as independent. We can only hope he has the courage to do so. ®