Julius Genachowski said on Friday he will step down as chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission in the coming weeks after four years on the job, and touted his record of working to expand broadband Internet service to Americans.
Genachowski, whose term was due to end in June, told FCC staffers he would be leaving his post “in the coming weeks” but did not give a date. He told Reuters after his announcement that he has no career plans lined up for after his FCC tenure ends.
“I’m still focused on the work of the agency,” Genachowski said, adding that he expects the FCC, which maintains a Democratic majority, to keep its policy direction after he leaves.
Asked to describe his tenure at the FCC in three words, Genachowski answered “unleashing broadband’s benefits.”
His exit from the agency that oversees telecommunications and broadcast policies was widely expected after President Barack Obama’s re-election. Obama will nominate a successor to Genachowski, who has headed the FCC since 2009.
In a statement, Obama praised Genachowski, the president’s classmate at Harvard Law School, for giving the FCC a “clear focus” on encouraging innovation and competitiveness, attracting “jobs of tomorrow” and improving high-speed Internet access and mobile devices sector growth.
“I am grateful for his service and friendship, and I wish Julius the best of luck,” Obama said.
The FCC is also losing its senior Republican commissioner. Robert McDowell said on Wednesday he will depart his post in a few weeks, leaving the five-member panel with two Democrats, one Republican and two vacancies.