Chief executive officer of the Internet Industry Association (IIA), Peter Coroneos, announced last night that he will step down from the role at the end of June this year.
Peter Coroneos, IIA chief executive officer (Credit: Josh Taylor/ZDNet Australia)
Coroneos has served as the IIA CEO for 13 years, taking on the role in 1997. He told the audience at the association's annual gala in Sydney last night that each human year is seven internet years.
"I've served almost 100 years in this job, so it's probably time to take a break and go surfing for a while," he joked.
He remarked that when he first took on the role, the two major issues facing the industry were internet censorship and taxing internet service providers for e-commerce. Now, the debates surround the government's proposed mandatory internet filter and Gerry Harvey's complaints surrounding GST for online retailers.
"The more things change, the more they stay the same," he said.
Coroneos said that internet penetration had increased from 22 per cent to 82 per cent during his time with the association.
"So what was then the area for enthusiasts has now become a mainstream communications medium," he said.
IIA chairman Bruce Linn said Coroneos had lead the IIA to evolve from a narrow base representing largely internet service providers to "a diverse, influential and highly respected organisation" in his 13-year tenure.
"We have punched far above our weight, due in large measure to Peter's passion, commitment and breadth of understanding," Linn said.
Coroneos warned that the industry faced three major challenges in the future: internet blackouts brought about by the government such as those in Egypt, natural disasters like the Queensland floods compromising internet access and the potential psychological barrier to e-commerce if users grow to distrust the internet because of the rise of online fraud.
"I'm very concerned that we don't lose trust and confidence in the user base," he said. "The internet is a bit more fragile than we'd care to admit."
Linn said the IIA Board would now begin a national recruitment program to search for Coroneos' replacement.