2015-09-27

ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade "Steamrolled" by CCWG-Accountability Co-Chair

Photos: ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade (above left) appears incredulous when CCWG Co-chair Thomas Rickert (above center)  does not allow Fadi's slide be shown during the CCWG meeting
ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade (above left) appears incredulous when CCWG Co-chair Thomas Rickert (above center)
 does not allow Fadi's slide be shown during the CCWG meeting (above right is CCWG Co-chair Leon Sanchez)

While you can read elsewhere on Domain Mondo about ICANN Board Chairman Steve Crocker speaking softly, but carrying a big stick, and being given wide leeway at yesterday's CCWG-Accountability meeting in LA, for lame duck ICANN President and CEO Fadi Chehade, who has already given notice of his leaving ICANN by March, 2016, it was a stark contrast in reception and respect, truly a Rodney Dangerfield moment:

CCWG Co-Chair THOMAS RICKERT: NEXT IN THE QUEUE IS FADI.

FADI CHEHADE: YES. THANK YOU, LEON AND THANK YOU, THOMAS. THIS HAS BEEN AN INCREDIBLE TWO DAYS AND I STAYED BACK MOSTLY BUT I THINK IT'S TIME IF I COULD TO EXPRESS COMMENTS. FIRST, I WANT TO THANK YOU BECAUSE YOU HAVE BEEN REMARKABLE CHAIRS AND I ESPECIALLY TODAY THOMAS HOW YOU STARTED THE DAY FOR US. I APPRECIATE VERY, VERY MUCH. I DO BELIEVE THAT WE ARE CLOSE. BUT I DO BELIEVE WE ALSO HAVE SOME AREAS OF CONCERN. THIS MIDDLE COLUMN FOR EXAMPLE STARTED TWO DAYS AGO BY SAYING THAT WE HAVE MAJOR ISSUES IN THAT COLUMN. AND NOW IT SAYS IN PROCESS. I DON'T KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS. DOES IT MEAN SUDDENLY THAT THIS GROUP OF PEOPLE, WITHOUT THE FULL COMMUNITY HAS DECIDED TO MOVE FORWARD WITH THESE THINGS WHEN IN FACT 90+ COMMENTS DID NOT INDICATE WE HAVE CONSENSUS ON THESE ISSUES. I THEREFORE, ASK TO SHOW A SLIDE THAT I HAVE PREPARED WITH THE BOARD IN THE LAST FEW DAYS IN WHICH WE ATTEMPTED IN THE BEST WAY WE CAN TO SHOW WHERE ACTUALLY WE BELIEVE THERE IS CONSENSUS. AND THIS IS NOT A BELIEF BASED ON OUR VIEWS. THIS IS A BELIEF BASED ON READING ALL THESE COMMENTS MULTIPLE TIMES, LISTENING TO YOU, READING EVERYTHING YOU'VE DONE. AND I -- I BELIEVE THAT THIS SLIDE WILL HELP US MOVE FORWARD. SO, IF I HAVE YOUR PERMISSION, I'D LIKE TO SHOW THE SLIDE.

THOMAS RICKERT: FADI, THANKS FOR THE OFFER. I GUESS THAT THIS IS WHAT THE GROUP THINKS IS THE CURRENT LEVEL OF SUPPORT. THE BOARD MAY HAVE ITS OWN VIEW ON THE ANALYSIS OF PUBLIC COMMENTS. BUT THAT'S ACTUALLY FOR THE WORKING GROUP TO DECIDE. SO I THINK WE SHOULD BE VERY CAUTIOUS NOT TO HAVE COMPETING VIEWS OR VERSIONS OR ASSESSMENTS OF CONSENSUS AND SHARE THEM. SO I RECOMMEND THAT YOU TAKE THE SLIDE AND SEND IT TO THE LIST FOR EVERYBODY'S REVIEW.

FADI CHEHADE: I'M NOT ON THE LIST.

THOMAS RICKERT: WE'VE WALKED THROUGH ALL THESE -- THE AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT. WE'VE ASKED THE GROUP TO CHIME IN. CHERINE DID SO. BUT I WOULD CAUTION US FROM, YOU KNOW, PRESENTING TO THE OUTSIDE COMMUNITY THE IMPRESSION THAT WE'RE NOW DISCUSSING THE BOARD'S DETERMINATION OF CONSENSUS, WHICH IS OBVIOUSLY A TASK FOR THE COCHAIRS.

FADI CHEHADE: CAN I RESPOND, IF I COULD. THIS IS NOT THE BOARD'S VIEW. I'M PRESENTING TO YOU THE VIEW BASED ON THE STAFF'S INCREDIBLE WORK TO UNDERSTAND YOUR COMMUNITY'S AND MY COMMUNITY'S COMMENTS. AND I BELIEVE THAT IT IS IMPORTANT EVERYONE HEARS THAT AS WELL. SO SIMPLY SAYING THAT WE SUDDENLY MOVE THE MODEL BACK TO IN PROCESS WHEN FRANKLY, I DON'T KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS, MOST OF US DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT THAT MEANS. IS -- I'M FRANKLY WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, I'M NOT GOING TO BE STEAMROLLED INTO THIS. I THINK WE HAVE TO STOP AND UNDERSTAND EXACTLY WHERE THE COMMUNITY, NOT THE PEOPLE WHO CAME TO LA HAVE CONSENSUS BASED ON THE TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF COMMENTS TO RECEIVE.

THOMAS RICKERT: SORRY FADI, THIS IS NOT SOMETHING THAT'S NOT FOR THE BOARD OR STAFF TO DECIDE. I'M MORE THAN HAPPY --

FADI CHEHADE: SO I'M SPEAKING AS AN INDIVIDUAL, HOW'S THAT.

THOMAS RICKERT: WE HAVE MADE VERY CLEAR IN OUR PROCESS IS THAT THE GROUP AND IN PARTICULAR SUB TEAMS WILL DO THE ANALYSIS OF PUBLIC COMMENTS AND WE SHOULD AWAIT THAT. WE HAVE THIS ASSESSMENT ON THE TABLE WHICH HAS BEEN CRAFTED WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF THE GROUP. I DON'T SEE ANY BENEFIT IN HEARING THE BOARD'S ASSESSMENT OF THE CONSENSUS LEVEL.

FADI CHEHADE: I'M NOT SPEAKING FOR THE BOARD. I'M TELLING YOU I'M SPEAKING PERSONALLY AND YOU'RE NOT ALLOWING ME TO EVEN SHARE WHERE I THINK OUR VIEWS ARE. I DON'T KNOW WHAT --

THOMAS RICKERT: YOU SAID YOU WANT TO PRESENT THE ASSESSMENT OF CONSENSUS AS YOU DID IT TOGETHER WITH --

FADI CHEHADE: BASED ON ALL THE COMMUNITIES OUR COMMUNITY HAVE FILED WHICH WE HAVE SPENT TWO DAYS AND NOT ANALYZED.

THOMAS RICKERT: THAT'S FOR THE WORKING GROUP TO BE DONE.

FADI CHEHADE: AND CAN WE SHARE THEM WITH THE LIST?

THOMAS RICKERT: YOU CAN SHARE THEM WITH THE LIST. BY ALL MEANS, PLEASE DO. WE HAVE A COMBU FORM. I WOULD NOT WANT TO SPEND TOO MUCH TIME ON THIS. (emphasis added) (Note: transcription unedited and not final--reviewed/corrected transcript will be posted on the CCWG Wiki).

Follow-up from the Chat window--CCWG-Accountability meeting in LA, September 26, 2015--Chat transcript:

Rubens Kuhl: Fadi said the slide was ready for a few days, so it could have been submitted to the co-chairs.
Mike Silber (ICANN Board Member): it was
Robin Gross [GNSO - NCSG]: this is a CCWG mtg.
Avri Doria: is this becoming hostile? words like steam rolled?

Steamroll (source:Wiktionary): To flatten, as if with a steamroller; To ruthlessly crush or overwhelm

And later, KAVOUSS ARASTEH commented in the meeting: "... SOME PEOPLE WERE EMOTIONAL TODAY. WE SHOULD RESPECT THE COLLEAGUES WITH FULL RESPECT. WE SHOULD NOT ATTACK THE PEOPLE. WE SHOULD ALLOW THE PEOPLE TO OPENLY, CLEARLY EXPRESS THEIR VIEWS. I KNOW THOMAS MAY BE VERY TIRED TODAY. ALL OF US ARE TIRED. AND WE SHOULD BE MAINTAIN AN ATMOSPHERE OF FRIENDSHIP AND MUTUAL RESPECT TO EACH OTHER. THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. IN PARTICULAR WITH RESPECT TO HIS REACTION WITH FADI CHEHADE IS NOT ACCEPTABLE TO ME ..."


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