Melbourne IT loses CEO

Melbourne IT loses CEO

Melbourne IT has announced a senior management reshuffle after the resignation of founder and CEO Professor Peter Gerrand.

Gerrand will leave the company at the end of this week to be replaced by current chief operating officer Adrian Kloeden.

"I think it's a timely change," said Melbourne IT chairman Rob Stewart. "Peter did a great job and was a great visionary. For a lot of start-ups there comes a time when you need a different set of management skills, which I'm confident Adrian should bring us."

Stewart admits that the greatest challenge for Melbourne IT's management is to "better manage the market's expectations". This year, Melbourne IT faced fluctuating demand for domain registrations, and Stewart believes that it is becoming difficult to forecast market conditions.

"We'd geared ourselves up for a higher volume and have had to adjust," he said.

According to Stewart, being in the wholesale domain business equates to a heavy reliance on the channel, which has not always performed in ways that benefit Melbourne IT.

"Some of our channel partners were a little slower at adjusting themselves to falling retail prices than the rest of the market, but when they adjust we will start to see better financial results," he said.

At the same time Stewart expects the addition of new channel partners in overseas markets to increase revenues considerably.

"Our channel partners are an important part of our business," he said. "We sell a lot on a wholesale basis; in fact at an international level that is the only way we sell."

Next year the international body for domain name registration, ICANN will introduce new top-level domains in multilingual formats. To capitalise on this opportunity, Melbourne IT's management restructure includes the appointment of Clive Fiory as president international of the company's domain name business. Stewart expects that these new domain name business opportunities should lead to an expanded customer base for Melbourne IT.

"Even just as a registrar, we should pick up more volume," he said. "I would be extremely confident that by the second quarter of 2001 we should have turned the corner and be heading in the right direction," Stewart predicted. "I would like it to happen earlier, but the market is hard to predict."

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