FirstNet CEO resigns, Ed Horowitz appointed as chair amid board member exodus

Poth helped drive a series of RFPs and contract processes for FirstNet, which oversees the nationwide public safety broadband network for first responders. (FirstNet)

FirstNet Authority CEO Mike Poth announced his resignation from the organization to pursue a private-sector opportunity. Poth, who has served as CEO of FirstNet for three years, will step down at the end of the month.

During his tenure, Poth helped drive a series of requests for proposals (RFPs) and contract processes for the organization, which oversees the nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN) for first responders. Poth’s efforts helped secure AT&T as FirstNet’s nationwide wireless contractor in deploying and maintaining the NPSBN for a 25-year period.

“For the past three years, I have had the honor of serving public safety here at the First Responder Network Authority,” Poth said in a statement. “Now, FirstNet is here. Together with AT&T and the public-safety community, FirstNet is fully prepared to continue its momentum. In the meantime, I will be focusing my efforts on ensuring the smoothest transition for FirstNet and all of its stakeholders.”

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Poth’s resignation follows the departure of FirstNet CEO TJ Kevin, who left at the start of the year to pursue other opportunities in the private sector. The news also follows recent resignations of two of the organization's board members. Former chairperson Sue Swenson and vice chairperson Jeff Johnson both announced their departures from the board.

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U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross has reappointed Ed Horowitz to the board and has named him chair of the board for a two-year term. Meanwhile, three other board membersNeil Cox, Kevin McGinnis and Annise Parker, whose terms expired last monthhave agreed to extend their terms until Ross is able to name replacement board members. Ross is expected to appoint six new members to the board.

Once those members are in place, the board will be able to begin the process of hiring a successor to Poth.