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VeriSign splits off domain registrar
6th January 2003

The Network Solutions brand is to be revamped by parent company VeriSign to run its domain name business.

VeriSign has created a wholly owned subsidiary to operate a new version of the domain name business it bought three years ago. As part of the move, the company will revamp the Network Solutions brand, which has been downplayed since the VeriSign purchase. 

The new Network Solutions subsidiary will comprise the registrar business, which sells domain names directly to consumers and businesses, as well as Web and email services. The registry business, which sells domain names to other registrars, will remain with VeriSign. A little more than one-fifth of VeriSign's 3,000 employees will work for the Network Solutions subsidiary. 

"It was time to make a division," said Champion Mitchell, the president of Network Solutions, which will operate separately from VeriSign. Network Solutions, which provided the first domain registration services in 1993, remains the largest seller of Web addresses, managing more than nine million names. 

There has been some speculation that VeriSign would spin off its domain businesses altogether after the number of available domain names on the Web began to decline and the company's government granted monopoly on Web address sales ran out. Mitchell did not rule out the possibility of a sale, but he said that for the past year, the company has been focusing on a turnaround and will continue to do so in the future. 

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