Julius Genachowski to Head FCC?

TMCnet’s Michael Dinan reports Julius Genachowski will head up the FCC as part of the incoming Obama administration. Genachowski is a former Harvard law classmate of Obama, chief counsel to former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt, a VC and led the development of the president-elect’s technology and innovation agenda.

Genachowski was the Chief Business Officer and a member of Barry Diller’s Office of the Chairman at IAC/InterActiveCorp. He had previously served on the Boards of Directors of Expedia, Hotels.com and Ticketmaster.

He is a co-founder of LaunchBox Digital and Rock Creek Ventures. [2] He is also a special advisor at General Atlantic and a member of the Boards of Directors at The Motley Fool, Website Pros, Mark Ecko Enterprises, and Beliefnet.

Genachowski serves as a board member of Common Sense Media, a leading organization seeking to improve the media lives of children and families; and as an advisory board member of Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2). He also recently helped found the New Resource Bank, the country’s first commercial “green bank.”

The Washington Post reported three weeks ago that Genachowski may be in line for this post.

Although his Facebook page has been removed, a cached version says he is a fan of celebrities Arianna Huffington and Craigslist founder Craig Newmark. In addition he enjoys Slate.com and as you might imagine, is a supporter of Barack Obama.

His LinkedIn profile has been removed as well but a cached version states the following:

Julius Genachowski’s Experience
·         Founding Partner
LaunchBox Digital

(Privately Held; 1-10 employees; Internet industry)

October 2007 — Present (1 year 4 months)

LaunchBox Digital is an early state investment firm with a compelling program to help startups start. We’re now accepting applications to LaunchBox08, our summer accelerator program. We’ll select 6-10 companies to provide seed funding, a 12-week program and assistance from a world class group of advisors, and pitch days on the east and west coasts. www.LaunchBoxDigital.com

·         Cofounder/Managing Director
Rock Creek Ventures

(Information Technology and Services industry)

June 2006 — Present (2 years 8 months)
·         Special Advisor

(Venture Capital & Private Equity industry)

May 2006 — Present (2 years 9 months)
·         Chief of Business Operations
(Public Company; Internet industry)
November 1997 — September 2005 (7 years 11 months)

So what will the new FCC chief have to deal with? Lots.

Net neutrality, digital TV and free wireless broadband to name a few.

Ideally, I would like to see the new FCC help foster more communications and broadband competition and have more of a focus n watching out for consumers – we the people who pay their salaries.

Most importantly, I would like to see an FCC which advocates consistency so investors and our industry can invest properly. The FCC has been so inconsistent over these past decades it has been chaotic to investors, carriers and equipment providers who want to make a consistent living without excess government intervention.

Does Genachowski have the right background to tackle all of the above and do what is best for the industry? Absolutely. Will he do the right thing? I hope so.

What I can tell you is typically in politics it is tremendously challenging to determine what someone will do based on their past history in the private sector. In Genachowski’s case he has everything he needs to do what is in the consumers’ best interests… He was an investor, worked in dotcom companies and knows the legal side of telecom. He is a successful businessman.

I should mention I was saddened that the addition of Commissioner Robert McDowell did little to increase the FCC’s stance on competition.

I do have high hopes now though and hope this plays out well for our industry.

Also, assuming he becomes chairman I would like to invite Julius Genachowski to come and give a keynote at ITEXPO where he can discuss his thoughts with the communications industry and start a positive dialogue regarding  the future of broadband and communications in the US.

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