RealTime IT News

Forman Leaves Register.com

One of Register.com's founding fathers resigned from his board of directors seat Wednesday, ending a 10-year stint at the helm of one of the biggest registrars in the world.

Since co-founding the company -- originally called Forman Interactive -- with his brother Peter back in 1994, Richard Forman saw the registrar through the deregulation of his industry and a proxy fight with dissident shareholders last year, which ultimately led to his departure.

In June 2003, Register.com board members signed an agreement with Barington Companies Equity Partners, L.P., to end a proxy battle against the board of directors. The investment firm wanted to rescind the company's anti-takeover "shareholder rights plan" and dump the existing board of directors, but settled with $120 million.

It also cost Forman his job as president and CEO, as he had rejected several buyout offers earlier that year. His brother has been president and CEO since June 2003.

Despite increases in net income over the past three years, company revenues, and per-share prices have been in a steady state of decline since the turn of the century, which made the buyout attempts possible and had investors eager to support those attempts. Increasing competition from low-price registrars like GoDaddy cut into Register.com's customer base, which pays $35 a year for domain name extensions.

Forman said the time he has spent since his resignation as CEO and president on the board of directors has been a good transition period for him.

"It's been close to 18 months since I stepped down from day-to-day management and felt that the transition period is clearly over," Forman said. "There's some great opportunities out there that I'm working on, and I really wanted to focus on those developing opportunities. I can't say that a proxy battle is ever fun, but it was a lot of work in building the company. A lot of things come up in business; that was just one of them."

Forman wouldn't say what ventures he's working on, hinting only that they relate to both technology and non-technology endeavors due out in coming months.

As for the company he's leaving behind, the board of directors announced they would reduce the size of its board to eight directors following Forman's departure.

"Richard's contributions to Register.com and our success are immeasurable," Mitchell Quain, Register.com chairman of the board, said in a statement. "As he has shown in founding and guiding Register.com in his various roles over the last 10 years, Richard is a talented individual. We thank him for his contributions and wish him continued success."