I received a press release this morning announcing that Antony Van Couvering is no longer CEO of Minds & Machines, the company he founded. I did a quick Google search to confirm the report, and I saw that Antony published an article about this on CircleID: I Got Fired.
Here’s an excerpt about the news from the press release:
Minds + Machines Group Limited (LSE:MMX), the publicly quoted owner and operator of Internet top-level domains, announces that Antony Van Couvering is no longer the Chief Executive Officer of the Company. Mr Van Couvering was removed from office with immediate effect by means of a unanimous resolution of directors passed at a meeting of directors held on 19 February 2016. The Group is currently making the transition from asset gatherer to monetisation of its leading portfolio of top-level domains; the Board believes a change of leadership will assist in this process. As such, the Board is delighted that the Company’s Chief Marketing Officer, Toby Hall, has, subject to regulatory approvals, accepted the Company’s offer to take on the role of Chief Executive and lead the Group during this important period.
Here’s an excerpt from Antony’s CircleID article:
It’s a story told a thousand times: founder of a company ousted by investors. It’s a story so common you can find it any day of the week as a minor headline in a tech blog. Not much of a story at all really, until it happened to me.
Minds + Machines, the company I founded in 2009, informed me last week that I was no longer wanted as CEO. Without going into details, which I can’t, there were differences and disagreements. Still, it was a surprise. All the plans, the hopes — pfhhht! into thin air. It sucked.
Antony also shared some of his predictions for the new gTLD space in 2016. I will let you check out the CircleID article to read his thoughts.
Back in 2007, I met Antony at a New York City domain investor meetup. I am pretty sure we had a quick bit and a beer at a Chipotle and chatted about domain names. A few years later, it was Antony who first mentioned the new domain extensions to me. Prior to that, I had no idea about the new gTLD program.
I am sorry to hear that Antony is no longer with Minds & Machines. Even though the new gTLD program is very large, he is the first person that comes to my mind when I think about them.
I wish Antony all the best in his next endeavor, and I wish Toby luck in his new role as CEO. If you want to get in touch with Antony, he shared his email address on the CircleID article.