It was announced on the 4th January that CEO, Tobias Flaitz, was leaving Sedo and that Matthias Conrad was to replace him. For the past 7 years Tobias has steered Sedo through some tumultuous waters and in my opinion, he now leaves the company in a stronger state than when he arrived.
Rather than report the facts of his leaving and trying to dig into the reasons for the change I thought that I’d share a few personal words about one of the captains of the domain industry.
When I first met Tobias at DomainFest in Los Angeles, he was both new to his position and the domain industry. I initially found him a little reserved as he took in the various industry players and formulated his own opinion of the domain industry and the role Sedo was playing in it.
When I reflect upon that conference, I imagine that at the time he was bombarded with a huge number of domain investors hoping this “new blood” would listen to their demands so I’m not surprised he was a “little reserved”.
Since he was new to the domain industry, Tobias provided a unique fresh perspective in how Sedo needed to move forward. One of his initial challenging tasks was to manage the transition from the Sedo founders. Many people underestimate whats involved in transitioning from visionaries like the founding team and I looked on in admiration as he managed the various stakeholders while building a dynamic new team to step up and take Sedo on the next stage of its journey.
Over the ensuing years Tobias and I interacted on a semi-regular basis and my opinion of him continued to develop into one of great respect. I found him to be a mild-mannered man who really thought through the issues at hand as well as being eager to have a good time.
What many readers may not know is that Tobias is also an honourable man. Some people may attribute individual incidents in a negative light but often these individuals don’t have all of the facts. I for one have seen him make extraordinary personal efforts in order to fight the “good fight” because of a matter of ethical principle. These “fights” were often behind the scenes and due to his position, he was not at liberty to fully disclose what transpired until after the fact, if at all.
In the many late nights at different conferences around the world we often caught up to share our thoughts on the domain industry and where it was headed. During these times I found him to be an exceptional thinker on the wider industry issues and the challenges that needed to be overcome for it to grow.
There’s an old saying that is like a high honorific that I would like to bestow upon Tobias Flaitz. He is a the quintessential “Gentleman and a Scholar”. Although we are located in different hemispheres, more than all of these accolades I would like to say that Tobias Flaitz is my friend and the friend of many in our great industry.
Tobias, I wish you all the best in your future endeavours and I look forward to getting to know Matthias Conrad, the new CEO of Sedo, as well as you.