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FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski steps down

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Julius Genachowski
Julius Genachowski

Julius Genachowski, who has served as FCC Chairman since 2009, is stepping down. The FCC has announced on its website that Genachowski will be leaving his position "in the coming weeks;" an official meeting will be held later this morning. The Chairman's term would have been over in July, but it's been rumored over the past week that he would step down early.

Before his appointment, Genachowski had a long history in Washington: in the 1980s, he worked for then-Representative Charles Schumer (D-NY) and served as staff for the committee investigating the Iran-Contra affair. After attending law school, he clerked for Supreme Court Justices David Souter and Justice William Brennan, then moved to the FCC in 1994 and left in 1997 to work for, among others, media magnate Barry Diller's IAC.

After helping with Barack Obama's 2008 Presidential campaign, he was appointed FCC Chairman, where he has presided over massive expansion of mobile networks, wider deployment of broadband, and a series of high-profile mergers. We'll be watching for more details on his successor and future plans during today's meeting.

Update: Genachowski has officially given his statement, praising the FCC for its accomplishments in expanding broadband access in particular with programs like the Connect America Fund. While we still aren't sure who will follow in his footsteps — and he won't officially depart for another few weeks — the FCC has posted a list of actions taken under his direction.