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Got Carter - InternetNZ names new CEO

PLUS: More cash in InternetNZ's coffers.

Wed, 03 Jul 2013

UPDATE / July 3: InternetNZ has appoint acting CEO Jordan Carter full-time to the position.

Mr Carter has been acting CEO since Vikram Kumar left in January to become chief executive of Mega.

InternetNZ President Frank March says Mr Carter was appointed following a rigorous recruitment process. 36 people applied for the role, with eleven candidates being long-listed and three making the shortlist.  

The non-profit InternetNZ administers the .nz domain, and advocates on behalf of internet users.

During his time as acting CEO, Mr Carter has worked with InternetNZ's to more tightly focus its mission, now defined as protecting an open and uncapturable internet, a theme he picked up on this morning:

“An open and uncapturable Internet is essential to New Zealand’s prospects. InternetNZ is working with others to ensure the Internet remains a platform for innovation and change – ensuring its potential is not lost by drifting away from its founding principles of open standards and shared decision-making,” Mr Carter said.

Mr March says the CEO's background in policy making and analysis suits the new environment as the internet encompasses more areas of public policy.

Mr Jordan was on Labour's list at the 2011 election. He has ruled out standing in 2014.

"My eyes are firmly and fully on this job," he told NBR this morning. "I'm not interested in any other pursuit."

Right-wing blogger and former InternetNZ vice-president David Farrar wrote today, "I’ve worked closely with Jordan on Internet issues for well over a decade. He has a superb grasp of policy, a strategic mindset and is also an excellent administrator. The nice thing about InternetNZ is that it has members from all over the political spectrum, united in their belief that the Internet should remain open and uncaptureable."

More money in InternetNZ coffers
InternetNZ recently released its 2012/2013 financial statements. 

The accounts show retained earnings increasing from the previous year's $9.18 million to $9.38 million.

Income fell from $700,500 last year to $191,100 as operating expenses increased, and InternetNZ contributed to projects associated with the Christchurch rebuild.

Revenue - primarily derived from wholesaling .nz domain names - was up from $7.09 million to $7.70 million.

As InternetNZ finally advertises CEO role, Brislen endorses Carter

UPDATE / May 6: Telecommunications Users' Association CEO Paul Brislen says he is not interested in taking a shot at the Internet NZ CEO role advertised today - scotching industry rumours he could apply, precipatating a merger between the two organisations in the process.

More, the Tuanz boss has endorsed acting CEO Jordan Carter.

"Jordan should do it," Mr Brislen told NBR ONLINE.

"I think he'd make an excellent CEO. He's got the policy work background that will be invaluable to both InternetNZ and the broader sector."

Mr Carter was deputy executive director of InternetNZ before leaving the when he was named a Labour list candidate. After missing the cut-off at the 2011 election, he completed an MA at Victoria with a thesis on Labour and National governments' increasing broadband intervention between 2000 and 2011. He also worked as a consultant for Wigley & Co, a  Wellington law firm that works with telecommunications clients including Kordia and 2degrees.

He returned in February this year as acting CEO.


Earlier / May 6: Four months after Vikram Kumar's resignation, InternetNZ has finally advertised for a new CEO.

The key question now is whether acting CEO Jordan Carter will throw his hat into the ring.

Mr Carter has yet to go on record either way. Upon his initial appointment he was ambivalent, telling NBR ONLINE he was aware he lacked board room experience.

An InternetNZ councilor spoken to by NBR Online last week said Mr Carter had done an excellent job, and that he for one would be happy if the Wellingtonian was appointed full time. Mr Carter enjoyed popular support, the councilor said - although he qualified his comment by noting the board InternetNZ included a number of complex, big personalities.

The councilor named another potential candidate, Telecommunications Users Association (Tuanz) CEO Paul Brislen (who has not said anything publicly bar that he already has a job and is enjoying it). However, the thinking was that the appointment of Mr Brislen (should he put his hand up) would involved merging the slimmed-down Tuanz and InternetNZ. When he spoke to NBR last week, Mr Kumar saw such a merger as problematic. There was tension between the (then) InternetNZ CEO and Mr Brislen early least year as Mr Brislen was forced to lay off staff, and the question arose of whether cheaper InternetNZ events where putting a squeeze on Tuanz revenue.

Mid-April, InternetNZ vice president Jamie Baddeley told NBR the job ad had taken a while to emerge because the organisation has been having a re-think about what it wants from a CEO, and in turn where it's heading 

However, the advertisement posted to Trade Me on Friday in very broad terms describes the role inhabited by Mr Kumar. It reads:

InternetNZ is a non-profit open membership organisation dedicated to protecting and promoting the Internet in New Zealand and fostering a coordinated, cooperative approach to its on-going development. A central objective is ensuring high performance and unfettered access for all so the Internet continues to operate in an open environment that cannot be captured by any entity or individual for their own ends.

Working closely with the InternetNZ Council and the CE's of the Domain Name Commission and the New Zealand Domain Registry, the focus is on developing delivering quality strategic outcomes, building maintaining relationships across the public, private not-for-profit sectors and leading a collaborative, proactive, transparent and open culture.

You will be an accomplished senior leader with demonstrated experience of operating in a multi-stakeholder environment and delivering excellent results. You will be an inspiring advocate with the gravitas and poise to be able to engender understanding of and support for the important work that InternetNZ undertakes. Your having a reputation for intellectual agility and being IT savvy is important too. Proven solid experience working with and for boards is prerequisite. 

The ad is on Trade Me here and will shortly be added to

Mr Carter was not immediately available for comment.

What happened to that InternetNZ CEO job ad?

April 15: The high-profile Vikram Kumar quit as InternetNZ CEO on January 8 (and on February 7 was named as the new CEO of Kim Dotcom's Mega).

NBR has been wondering why the role has yet to be advertised.

The non-profit administers the .nz domain on behalf of global internet body ICANN, and has two fully-owned subsidiaries: the Domain Name Commission (which referees the allocation of website addresses) and the Domain Registry. It uses millions raised from wholesaling local web addresses to "promote and protect the internet" for New Zealanders.

Acting InternetNZ CEO Jordan Carter referred questions to vice president Jamie Baddeley (whom in his day job has recently moved from FX Networks to become CTO at TeamTalk).

Essentially, Baddeley says InternetNZ needs to have a good think about what it needs from its next CEO.

"Since Vikram Kumar's departure earlier this year, and with the appointment of the very capable Jordan Carter as CEO (Acting) the council of InternetNZ has taken the resultant opportunity to carry out a detailed re-consideration of what we need in terms of Strengths, Skills and general qualities of the CEO role. Council received a clear message from it's membership earlier in the year that a well considered decision was far more important than a fast decision," Baddeley told NBR.

"This reevaluation has been considered necessary as many things have changed since Vikram was hired in February 2010 [from the State Services Commission]. InternetNZ as an organisation has a far stronger internal policy development capability, external environmental factors (both domestically and internationally) have changed considerably and the importance of the Internet to the average New Zealander has also increased markedly. The success of Nethui is a key indicator on that last point," the VP says.

"The focus of many council meetings (both scheduled meetings and special meetings) since January has been on 'what kind of CEO does the organisation need and want for the future'. We are now at the end of this re-evaluation process and we expect to advertise the role within the next few weeks."

Earlier, acting CEO Carter told NBR he was not angling to nab the permanent role, citing a lack of boardroom experience - but he's certainly starting to collect some as the process drags on.

Meanwhile, InternetNZ funding allocations over the past week: $125,000 for internet safety and privacy watchdog NetSafe (recommended by the Law Commission to be the agency that deals with cyber bullying before cases are escalated to the District Court under pending legislation), and $20,000 for Creative Commons (the open licensing advocacy group behind the popular CC Kiwi video that explains the concept of creative commons).

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Got Carter - InternetNZ names new CEO