FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski may soon be nominated by President Barack Obama as the next secretary of Commerce, according to a report in The Hill.
The report, which cited unnamed tech-industry sources and prominent Democrats close to the White House, said that the Obama administration has put Genachowski on a list of names to replace Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, who has been nominated as the U.S. ambassador to China. The report also said that the White House is looking for a more decision-oriented FCC chief. According to a Bloomberg report, outgoing Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) CEO Eric Schmidt also is said to be on the short list for the Commerce post.
"Chairman Genachowski is very happy at the FCC and is focused on harnessing the opportunities of the communications and technology space," Josh Gottheimer, senior counselor to Genachowski, told FierceWireless. "He has no intention to leave his position."
Genachowski, a law school classmate of Obama's, became FCC chairman in June 2009. Since then, his tenure has been dominated by several issues, including the creation and implementation of a national broadband plan as well as a fight over net neutrality rules for wireless and wired networks, which were passed in January.
The net neutrality fight has been particularly polarizing, with House Republicans voting Wednesday in a committee to toss out the rules. The House also is considering cutting FCC funding so that it cannot implement the rules, which have been challenged in court by Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and MetroPCS (NASDAQ:PCS).
Genachowski has drawn praise from the wireless industry for pushing to release more spectrum for mobile broadband. He is scheduled to deliver a keynote speech March 22 at the CTIA Wireless trade show in Orlando, Fla.
- see this The Hill article
- see this GigaOM post
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
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