Genachowski follows several previous FCC chairmen in his move to the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan research group dedicated to “fostering enlightened leadership, the appreciation of timeless ideas and values, and open-minded dialogue on contemporary issues.”
Chairman of the FCC since 2009, Genachowski oversaw the Commission during a period of rapid change. His commission sided with consumer groups when blocking AT&T’s takeover attempt of T-Mobile, but angered them after allowing the Comcast-NBC merger.
Tom Wheeler, a venture capitalist and former cable and wireless industry lobbyist, is the frontrunner to be the next chairman, according to some observers. He was President of the National Cable Television Association (NCTA) from 1979 to 1984 and lead the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA), where he was CEO until 2004.
FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell, a Republican, is also leaving the FCC.
Michael Powell current NCTA president, said, “We extend our gratitude to Commissioner McDowell for his excellent service to the Federal Communications Commission and American public. Michael Powell was FCC chairman from 2001 – 2005.