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InternetNZ boss Kumar logs-off

RICHARD MEADOW
Last updated 13:08 08/01/2013
Vikram Kumar
MEGA MOVE: Former InternetNZ boss Vikram Kumar is the new CEO of Kim Dotcom's Mega.

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InternetNZ boss Vikram Kumar has announced his resignation this morning, after leading the organisation through three years of major change.

Kumar will step down as chief executive at the end of the month when his term expires.

"I thought it presented a good time to look for new opportunities and new challenges," he said.

He was as yet undecided on where he would go but said he had been "talking to a few people" and was open to anything new.

InternetNZ is an open membership society dedicated to protecting and promoting the internet in New Zealand, with a focus on unfettered access for all.

Kumar said internet-related issues were becoming increasingly important to people throughout their work life, home life, and entertainment.

"For me the last three years were about connecting InternetNZ as an organisation with those wider challenges that everyone has," he said.

He will leave the organisation in good shape. Over the past three years InternetNZ has doubled its membership and tripled its work output, without an increase in the operating budget.

Kumar was also instrumental in setting up the NetHui forums to discuss the shape and direction of the internet, which he described as a "gamechanger for the way discussions are held".

"For many issues - whether it's copyright or cyber-bullying - the quality of the conversation is improving."

Thomas Beagle, spokesman for online freedom lobby group Tech Liberty, said he was disappointed to hear of Kumar's resignation.

"At his time at InternetNZ, it has switched to being a much more focussed organisation, and I believe correctly realised that the political dimensions are as important as the technical dimensions when it comes to defending the internet in New Zealand."

Beagle said InternetNZ had performed well in bringing groups together and fulfilling its remit.

"If you believe that the internet is important to the economy and the future of New Zealand - which I do - I think they've done a good job, and a lot of is actually owed to Vikram's leadership."

"I'm not sure they can, but I hope they find someone half as good to replace him."

InternetNZ president Frank March said the search for a replacement would begin immediately.

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