Sources: FCC chair could be new Commerce head

Tuesday - 3/8/2011, 2:20pm EST

By Jolie Lee
Federal News Radio

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski could replace Gary Locke as Secretary of Commerce, sources tell The Hill.

Locke will be nominated by the president to become the new ambassador to China.

Tech industry sources and prominent Democrats close to the White House told The Hill that Genachowski is a potential successor among a list that includes U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk.

Genachowski's tenure as FCC chairman has been marked by passage of net neutrality legislation preventing companies who control Internet pipelines from restricting what customers do online.

The Hill reports Genachowski has been close to Obama since law school and campaigned for him in 2008. "His ties to business executives could be an asset as the administration seeks to improve relations with industry," according to the article.