Fadi Chehadé has been announced as the new president and CEO of ICANN at a news conference held in the Czech capital of Prague in the lead-up to the 44th ICANN meeting be held next week.
He is a citizen if Egypt, Lebanon and the United States, was born in Beirut, Lebanon, to Egyptian parents and left the then war-torn country in 1980 at the age of 18. He speaks fluent Arabic English, French and Italian but is not a well known person among internet circles.
"I have spent most of my professional career building consensus among various stakeholders from around the world," said Chehadé. "I am naturally humbled to now be able to lead an organization that defines itself by an international multi-stakeholder model and one that is the very core of the security and stability of the Internet."
Akram Atallah, current COO, will be the interim CEO until October until Chehadé takes up the role on 1 October.
"Akram will not simply be a place-holder," said Crocker. "He will, in every sense of the phrase, be the Chief Executive Officer until Fadi joins us."
Chehadé said he considered driving the multistakeholder model as his most important role in his new role and that collaboration and communication are important. When he commences, Chehadé says his most important role will be to listen to what the board and the community has to say.
"Fadi has an amazing track record of success and the obvious leadership qualities to help carry ICANN into the next stage of its evolution," said Dr. Stephen Crocker, Chair of the Board of Directors. "His international background and multi-linguistic skills will help to make ICANN an ever more globally oriented organization. It's hard to imagine how we could have found anyone better suited for the top position."
Currently, Fadi Chehadé served as CEO of Vocado LLC, a U.S. firm that provides next-generation cloud-based administrative software for educational institutions. Prior to Vocado, Chehadé served as the General Manager of IBM's Global Technology Services in the Middle East and North Africa. Based in Dubai, he led a team across an emerging region experiencing high growth. He also built and managed a new global business for IBM, providing managed services to large clients in telecommunications, aerospace and retail to improve the accuracy, depth and timeliness of business information visibility across demand and supply chains.
Over the last 25 years, Chehadé started and led several companies that were successfully acquired by industry leaders IBM and Ingram Micro: CoreObjects (new product development); Viacore (innovative supply chain solutions); RosettaNet (game-changing eBusiness consortium); and nett (pioneer in management and distribution of Internet content).
In 1998, as the founder and CEO of RosettaNet, Chehadé rallied business and government leaders across the globe to build consensus on e-Business process standards by capitalizing on the growing Internet connectivity between trading partners in the computer and telecommunications sectors. The firm's transactions continue to span the industrial world and exceed $100 billion per year.
Chehadé is a graduate of Stanford University, where he earned a master's degree in Engineering Management. He earlier earned a bachelor's degree from Polytechnic University in New York, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude.
Fadi Chehadé currently lives in Los Angeles, California where ICANN is headquartered.
There is also a link between Atallah, and Chehadé. They were in the same boy scout group, but then the war separated them and they did not see each other for 30 years. Despite their friendship, Chehadé quipped he was worried about getting Atallah out of the CEO's office, commenting he will be very settled in the intervening three months until he takes up the role!
Chehadé will be paid a total of $800,000 per year including a cash component of $560,000.