Rob Hall is the CEO of Momentous and served on ICANN's NomCom as its 2012 Chair Elect. He acts as the Chairman of various Momentous subsidiaries, such as Pool.com and Zip.ca. In 1998, he founded CIRA, the registry in charge of Canada's ccTLD, .ca. Momemontous' companies bring in over $30 million in annual revenue from its clientelle of over 600,000 individual and corporate customers.
Hall is an early Internet entrepreneur, and the founder of the first Canadian ISP.
Previously, Mr. Hall was the CEO and founder of of Echelon Internet Group, and Internet Access Inc. The latter was an Ottawa-based ISP that became a regional leader, cornering 40% of the Ottawa market; it eventually merged with Hookup Communications and went public.
Hall founded CIRA in 1998, and was its founding chair until 2000, when he resigned. CIRA was started after his work with the Canadian Governments' "E-Commerce and Domain Name Taskforce". He also founded the Canadian Association of Internet Providers, which represents all Canadian ISPs; he served as its Vice-Chair and as a Board member for 4 years. He has frequently consulted with the Canadian Government, the U.S. Government, WIPO, ICANN, and other international organizations.
In the mid-'90s, Rob hosted a radio show, "Surfing the Net"; he also had a weekly column on the Internet that ran in Sun Publishing's chain of newspapers.
Rob is credited with building Pool.com's unique idea of allowing multiple people to backorder the same domain name, and then settle the conflicting interests with an auction between all interested parties. They now deal with hundreds of auctions everyday,
Hall is known for his focused, no-nonsense management style; as an employer he is looking for the strongest individuals and stresses that the company is a team, not a family.
A grocery list of tips for success on the Internet from Rob can be found here.
Rob has been involved with ICANN in a number of roles; he has been the Vice-Chair of the Registrar Constituency, and has also worked as a contractor at ICANN. In 2011, he was a voting member of the NomCom, and was appointed by the Registrar Stakeholder Group, which he has been involved with since its inception.
He was NomCom's 2012 Chair Elect but resigned from the position in October 2013, while speaking out about flaws in the NomCom. He cited an internal culture that promotes friends and colleagues rather than qualified candidates and discards formal advice from the ICANN Board. He also noted that the group attends ICANN Meetings on a purely travel basis and does not hold meetings at the events, and that increased lobbying threatens the organization further. "We are starting to see lobbying inside the NomCom: 'If I support this candidate will you support this one for me'. We are seeing the politics of GNSO play out in the NomCom," Hall said.
Some solutions Hall suggested implementing include changes in the way Committee members are chosen, removing secrecy, including Board members on the Committee, bringing in professional recruiters, and reforming the selection process, but he cites acknowledgement of the problem within the ICANN community as the prime impetus for change.
Board Memberships and Affiliations
- Founder, Momentous.ca Corporation
- Registrar-Appointed Member of Budget Committee, ICANN
- Vice Chairman, Registrars Constituency of ICANN
- Founder, Canadian Internet Registration Authority
- Former Board Member, Canadian Internet Registration Authority
- Founder, Canadian Association of Internet Providers
- University of Ottawa for Computer Science, Honors
Mr. Hall has been the Chairman of the Ottawa Competitive Volleyball League for 16 years, and has served on the board of the worl'd largest Ultimate league, the Ottawa Carleton Ultimate Association.
- Announcement, ICANN.org. Published 22 November 2011.
- Momentous.ca, Investing.BusinessWeek.com.
- Staff, ICANNRegistrars.org.
- "Sickening" NomCom must be reformed, says ex-chair, Dot-Nxt.com. Published 12 October 2012. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
- Business Profile of Rob Hall