VeriSign CEO Resigns as .com and .net Grow

The domain name business continues to be a strong one for VeriSign (NASDAQ:VRSN).

The Internet infrastructure vendor reported second quarter fiscal 2011 results this week and announced that its CEO was leaving the company. For the quarter, VeriSign reported Net Revenue of $190 million up by 13 percent on a year-over-year basis. The company reported a Net Loss of $11 million in contrast to a Net Income of $35 million for the second quarter of 2010.

VeriSign’s Registry Services business had a good quarter with the base of registered names in .com and .net totaling approximately 110 million names at the end of June for an 8 percent year-over-year increase.

During the quarter, VeriSign also renewed its contract with ICANN for management of the .net registry. VeriSign will not manage .net until at least 2017. Part of VeriSign’s agreement with ICANN for .net as well as a separate contract for .com enable VeriSign to raise prices for domain names.

“As of January 15, 2012, the registry fee for .com domain names will increase from $7.34 to $7.85, and the registry fee for .net domain names will increase from $4.65 to $5.11,” VeriSign’s CEO Mark McLaughlin said during the company’s earnings call. “The fee increases will have no direct impact to 2011 revenue since the increases are not effective until January 15, 2012.”

McLaughlin is set to leave VeriSign on August 25 as he pursues a career with a private company that is hoping to go public.

“The opportunity I’m going to is a private, pre-public company and I’ve got the opportunity to possibly take a company public,” McLaughlin said. “I haven’t done that in my career before, so I think that’s a good career opportunity for me.”

“So it says nothing about VeriSign as to where I’m going, because this company is a hell of a great company, very stable, and it’s got a great future,” McLaughlin added.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals.

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