FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski Resigns, Leaves Big Shoes to Fill

Julius Genachowski announced today that he will be stepping down from his post as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission in the "coming weeks." Thus will end a nearly four-year run for the lawyer and businessman, who was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate at the end of June in 2009.

"Over the past four years, we’ve focused the FCC on broadband, wired and wireless, working to drive economic growth and improve the lives of all Americans. And thanks to you, the Commission’s employees, we’ve taken big steps to build a future where broadband is ubiquitous and bandwidth is abundant, where innovation and investment are flourishing," Genachowski said in a statement.

Julius Genachowski

Genachowski has been one of the 'good guys' during the Internet Age. Though his stint as Chairman will end up being relatively short in the grand scheme of things, he's made the most of his time, calling for a lift of silly airline electronics restrictions, pushing for universal broadband coverage, challenging all 50 states to build at least one gigabit community by 2015, and other initiatives that have generally been in the best interest of the public. He's pressured ISPs to build out better broadband networks and helped kill the controversial AT&T/T-Mobile merger (AT&T is still looking for a telecom acquisition, by the way).

"Today, America’s broadband economy is thriving, with record-setting private investment; unparalleled innovation in networks, devices and apps; and renewed U.S. leadership around the world," Genachowski added. "While there are challenges ahead in this fast-moving, globally competitive sector, a revitalized FCC is prepared to continue taking them on."

Genachowski also has a sense of humor. During a staff meeting today, he began his speech by saying, "I called this all-hands on meeting of FCC employees because I have an important announcement to make. I'm tied for first place in the FCC's March Madness pool."