The ICANN CEO serves as the leader of the organizations serves as its primary representative and spokesperson to the media and the global internet community. He works directly with the ICANN Board, staffs and liaisons and ensures the ICANN's activities and programs are implemented effectively and efficiently and operates in accordance with the rules and regulations and core values of the organization. In addition, he is also responsible in maintaining trust and good relationship with the different partners and constituencies of ICANN and actively advocate and promote the vision, bottom-up and multistakeholder process in policy development within the global internet stakeholders. The CEO will also supervise the financial planning in developing an annual operating budget for the organization and makes sure that all the programs of ICANN would be successful.
CEO Succession Planning
The ICANN Board started the CEO succession planning on during a meeting on September 17, 2011 following the announcement of Rod Beckstrom, the current President and CEO of the organization that he would fulfill his term until the expiration of his contract on July 1, 2012. During the meeting, the Board of Directors agreed that no current or incoming member of the Board or liaisons would be considered as a candidate for the role of the CEO for the current CEO Selection process. In addition, the Board of Directors approved the list of Board Members recommended by the Board Governance Committee (BGC) who would comprise the CEO Search Process Management Work Committee, which include George Sadowsky (Chairman), Steve Crocker, Bertrand de La Chapelle, Erika Mann, Chris Disspain, Cherine Chalaby, Ray Plzak and R. Ramaraj. The Committee will help in coordinating the timely transition of ICANN’s leadership. 
During the ICANN 42 meeting in Dakar, the Board conducted an open consultation regarding the criteria and process of selecting the next ICANN CEO. The ICANN community were encouraged to provide their inputs Until November 15, 2011 through an e-mail address provided by the CEO Search Committee. The inputs were used in the job description and requirements for the actual search.
In addition, during Beckstrom's opening remarks in Dakar, he said that he is hoping that his successor would be of "highest integrity and has no current commercial or career interests in the domain name industry.He pointed out,“We are not here in the domain name business,We are here to serve the global public interest.” On the other hand, Steve Crocker said, “We’re very concerned about conflicts of interest and at same time we want the widest and most capable pool of candidates possible.”
On December 12, 2011, CEO Search Committee announced that it received several inputs from the ICANN community and issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) from firms that will help in the search process. Odgers Berndtson of Brussels was selected and collaborated with committee in developing a candidate profile, which will be used in the selection process.  The committee kicked off the search process by releasing the CEO Candidate Profile, which listed a total of 25 desirable personal,professional,governance and technical skills. The CEO Candidate Profile is available here
On December 20, 2011, the committee announced that the Job Description for CEO was completed and it is available here
On January 7-13, 2012, ICANN advertised its search for CEO, an individual who is public-minded with financial, management, diplomatic and organizational skills. The applicant must also be committed to integrity, trust humility, technical excellence and public service. The advertisement was published in the Executive Focus section of the The Economist.
All inquiries regarding the ICANN CEO position and applications were submitted to Odgers Berndtson for the initial selection and interview.
First ICANN CEO Candidate Revealed
Njeri Rionge, a former member of the ICANN Board and founder of the ISP in East Africa Wananchi Online and Ignite Consulting revealed his aspirations to become the next top executive of ICANN. Rionge's interest to the position was revealed by Sophia Bekele, CEO of DotConnectAfrica in an open letter which reads: "At the end of 2011, Ms. Njeri Rionge had expressed to DCA Executive Director, a direct interest in competing for the soon to be vacant ICANN CEO position, and for this reason, was kindly requested by DCA to submit her resignation from the DCA Strategic Advisory Board for ethical/conflict of interest reasons." Bekele also confirmed that Rionge is no longer connected with DCA and DCA Registry Ltd. Meanwhile, Lesley Cowley, CEO [Nominet]] and current chair of the ccNSO is rumored as one of the possible candidates.
On February 21, 2012, ICANN reported that Odgers Berndtson, its' partner in the selection process received more than 100 applications on February 17-deadline of the application. Twenty seven candidates were selected by Odgers Berndtson. The CEO Search Committee will be responsible in choosing the final candidates who will be presented to the ICANN Board for an intensive interview. The ICANN CEO selection process is expected to be completed by mid of April.