Domainz CEO Patrick O’Brien expects the organisation to continue to pay for his defamation suit against ISP director Alan Brown, despite Isocnz’s recent AGM voting to direct Domainz to withdraw support.
“The company is committed to go through with the process that’s currently underway,” says O’Brien.
The AGM voted no confidence in the board of Domainz, and also voted for an independent review of Domainz’s performance during the implementation of the new domain name system, which has been plagued with bugs.
The action against Brown was also raised at the meeting, and the motion that the AGM “deplores the defamation action taken by the CEO of Domainz” was carried without opposition.
“The action arose in the line of my duties as chief executive and as such the board was very supportive and continues to be supportive.”
The board consists of former Isocnz chair Jim Higgins, current chair Peter Dengate Thrush and James Scott, a consultant, along with a lawyer and an accountant.
O’Brien will not be drawn on what the Isocnz elections will mean for either Domainz or himself.
“It’s business as usual. There might be some changes taking place at the shareholder level and time will tell what those changes mean and what impact if any they have on Domainz.”
In April the Isocnz council wrote to both O'Brien and Brown, urging them to explore "alternative dispute resolution" as an alternative to litigation. Brown says he has had no approach from O'Brien offering to to enter such a process. He has, however, been called to a compulsory conference today by O'Brien's lawyers, apparently on the basis that he failed to file a statement of defence. Brown says he did file a statement and has a court receipt to prove it, and that he also supplied it to O'Brien's lawyers.
One of the problems Isocnz has had with Domainz in the past has been a lack of communication about business matters, says former councillor David Farrar.
“We don’t even know when [O’Brien’s] contract runs out. We believe it’s December 31.”
O’Brien would not answer questions about his contract. “I’m not going to comment on my own contract or any staff members’ contracts. That’s totally inappropriate to do such a thing.”
Peter Mott, director of ISP 2Day and former Isocnz councillor, has long been opposed to O’Brien’s position at Domainz and refuses to deal with Domainz while O’Brien is CEO.
“That has not changed. If he were to leave we would immediately review that situation.”