Icann hire Fadi Chehade as new chief executive

Screenshot showing potential .music top-level domain name
Image caption Icann has received applications for .music, .miami, .insurance and .online among others

The organisation responsible for internet addresses has hired Fadi Chehade as its new chief executive.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) is facing criticism over its handling of new top level domains.

Mr Chehade, formerly of IBM, will replace Rod Beckstrom who had been in post since June 2009.

Mr Chehade will earn $560,000 (£360,000) a year, plus up to $240,000 (£154,000) in possible bonuses.

'Angst and controversy'

Earlier this month, Icann revealed details of applications for new domains to add to the existing suffixes such as .com, .net and so on.

For the first time, companies could request custom names, such as .microsoft.

The plans have drawn strong criticism from some quarters. In the US, 87 companies sent a petition to the US Department of Commerce, arguing that the plans would create "excessive cost and harm to brand owners" and the "likelihood of predatory cyberharm to consumers".

Speaking to the Associated Press, Mr Chehade said: "Anything new like this is going to create angst and controversy, and it's going to create opportunity."

Mr Beckstrom will leave his post on 1 July, with Mr Chehade set to take over on 1 October.

Chief operating officer Akram Atallah, who worked with Mr Chehade in a previous role, will head the company in the interim.

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