Hexonet Co-Founder Joins CentralNic

In July of 2019, Hexonet was acquired by CentralNic in a deal that was reportedly worth “up to €10m.” At the time the deal was completed, Hexonet Co-Founder Robbie Birkner announced that he would be leaving the company and the domain industry following the conclusion of the deal.

This morning, CentralNic and Hexonet announced that Robbie would be returning in a larger role within CentralNic, as the Head of Reseller Division. Here’s some of what Hexonet shared about Robbie’s return to the domain industry:

“Today, I am thrilled to announce Robbie is taking on a new role with the greater CentralNic Group as the CentralNic Reseller Division Head. Not only will we benefit at Hexonet from his leadership and vision, but our team mates at RRPproxy, PartnerGate, Toweb and TPP will now be working with him also.”

Along with the appointment of Robbie Birkner, CentralNic also announced several other appointments:

  • Stuart Fuller, Head of Brand Services Division
  • Gavin Brown, Head of Registry Solutions
  • Tony Kim, Head of Product
  • Oliver Fries, Head of Shared Services

In the news release, CentralNic also announced some internal leadership restructuring in addition to its new appointments. The press release is shared below:

CentralNic PLC Internal Leadership Restructuring and New Appointments 

London, Wednesday 1st April 2020: CentralNic Group PLC (AIM: CNIC), the fastest growing company in the domain name industry, with over 45 million domains using its platforms, is pleased to announce an internal leadership restructuring, including key new appointments. These appointments place some of the domain industry’s most experienced and respected executives in new leadership positions, overseeing a workforce of around 400 employees and contractors. 

The new structure reflects CentralNic’s omni-platform strategy: deploying the world’s best specialist teams and platforms customized for every domain customer type (registry, reseller, corporate, SMB, domain investor), with a rapidly expanding list of common core internet and digital services. 

CentralNic CEO Ben Crawford commented: ”I take great pleasure in welcoming our new hires and appointees into their new roles, and I am confident we have the best team in place to maintain our track record of growth. In these difficult times, these new hires and changes reflect our confidence in the robustness of our business. We provide domain names and internet services to millions of customers globally – a core infrastructure that enables the functioning of email and websites, which are the most important communication tools between work colleagues and between companies and their customers.“ 

Robbie Birkner has been recruited as the Head of Reseller Division, the largest of the company’s business divisions in terms of revenue. Robbie will have oversight of the strategic direction, expansion and operation of all CentralNic wholesale channels and platforms for domain names, which encompasses the leading reseller brands of RRPproxy by Key-Systems, Hexonet, PartnerGate, TPP Wholesale and more. Together, the CentralNic reseller brands set the standard for industry-leading platforms and technology in terms of functionality, reliability, security and scalability, serving the smallest of resellers to the largest registrars in the world. 

Robbie joins CentralNic with twenty years of experience in the domain industry. His former roles include: Director of Sales and International Business at Key-Systems (now a CentralNic subsidiary); Director of Global Domains and General Manager, Canada, of Hostway Corporation; General Manager of DomainPeople; Director of International Sales for the .ME registry; and founding partner of Hexonet (now a CentralNic subsidiary). 

Stuart Fuller has been appointed as the Head of Brand Services Division, overseeing BrandShelter and CentralNic’s interest in Thomsen Trampedach, which delivers domain portfolio management and brand protection services to Corporate clients. Stuart brings over 14 years of experience in the industry and joined CentralNic three years ago as Group Commercial Director, after eleven years at corporate domain name management and brand protection firm NetNames (now CSC). His earlier career was in the telco industry, with Cable and Wireless and other leading companies. Stuart also retains certain group-wide commercial operations responsibilities. 

Gavin Brown has been appointed Head of Registry Solutions, providing registry software and managed services to country code Top-Level Domain names globally, as well as being the world’s leading distributor of new Top-Level Domains, with over 47% global market share. Gavin brings over 20 years of experience and is CentralNic’s longest-serving employee. He will also retain his role as Chief Innovation Officer for the Group. Before taking that role in 2019, Gavin was CTO of CentralNic for fourteen years. 

Tony Kim has been appointed as the Head of Product, responsible for managing new product development and onboarding across Group companies. Tony has over 18 years of experience in the industry, and was formerly Manager of CentralNic’s Hexonet reseller business, which he co-founded in 2009. Previously he was General Manager at Hostway Canada and Director of Product Development for Hostway Corp USA. 

Oliver Fries has been appointed Head of Shared Services, and will oversee technology and other shared services for the Reseller, Retail, Registry Solutions and Brand Services business divisions. Oliver brings over 17 years of experience in technical and managerial roles and will be focusing on key activities around infrastructure, systems, development, support and domain procurement. Oliver previously held the position of CTO at CentralNic’s subsidiary Key-Systems where he played a key role in shaping its core technology as well as helping the company grow and evolve. He previously worked in the Telecommunication sector as a software developer and project manager. 

CentralNic CEO Ben Crawford also announced the following: 

“I regret inform you that Alex Siffrin, our COO for Centralnic Group, and Founder/CEO of KeyDrive, has decided it is time for a new challenge and therefore is stepping down from his role with CentralNic. 

“Alex’s legacy will live on in CentralNic as we continue to develop the great businesses he built, which will now pass into the very capable hands of the team of hugely talented people that Alex hired and nurtured over the past two decades. 

“To facilitate a smooth handover, I have agreed with Alex that he will step down from all duties now – and enjoy some very well-deserved rest with his young family. 

“Alex remains a valued stakeholder, and his family remains one of the largest shareholders of CentralNic. 

“Please join me in wishing Alex well in his future endeavors.” 

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


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