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May 17 to Be Genachowski’s Last Day at FCC

“I will carry this experience with me for the rest of my life,” says soon to be former agency chairman

“I have an announcement to top all announcements,” said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski as he presided over his last open commission meeting as chairman today.

It was the 47th such meeting he presided over.

Genachowski said next Friday, May 17, will be his last day in the job.

He devoted most of his remarks to thanking staffers. Many of his aides are moving onto other jobs, some inside the commission and others are leaving the agency entirely.

Former Commissioner Robert McDowell has already left the agency, and was not at the meeting. Genachowski praised his former colleague, a Republican, saying McDowell “always stood tall for his beliefs and had the strength to reach across the aisle to get things done.”

Genachowski congratulated former cable and telecom executive Tom Wheeler, President Obama’s choice as next FCC chairman and fellow FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, Obama’s selection as acting chair. He said he’s sure Clyburn in particular will have a “successful transition.” Genachowski told Clyburn the FCC “was a fun place to work before you got here” and her being at the agency “made it even more fun.”

The soon-to-be-exiting chairman said a guiding principle during his time leading the agency has been, “Learn everything you can and then do the right thing,” saying he’s sure that will be Wheeler’s guiding principle as well.

“I will carry this experience with me for the rest of my life,” Genachowski said of his four years as chairman. Overall, he told reporters afterwards he expects all the work at the agency to continue to move forward at the pace that’s appropriate for each issue. “It’s been a terrific four years. I feel great about it.”