FORTUNE -- Julius Genachowski today began work as a managing director at private equity firm The Carlyle Group (CG), eight months after stepping down as chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.
No big surprise that Genachowski is taking a job in the investing world, given that he has previously served as a special advisor to General Atlantic and co-founder of Rock Creek Ventures. He also spent eight years as chief of business operations and general counsel at IAC/InterActiveCorp (IACI).
So this is really a private-to-public-to-private, rather than a career government official cashing in. But the move already has generated a series of "revolving door" accusations on Twitter, as if Genachowski took the FCC job in order to polish his resume for a big private equity firm like Carlyle.
Sounds ridiculous to me, but I still raised the issue this morning in a brief phone call with Genachowski. His reply:
"For me this is a return to the private sector, and my complete focus will be on buying and investing in companies rather than dealing with government issues… In the coming years at Carlyle I expect to be involved in a number of exciting transactions where I'll have a chance to put to work the full range of my experiences over the last 20 years."
I'm not so naive as to think that Carlyle won't bend Genachowski's ear if it runs into an FCC-related issue, but this particular firm already has plenty of lobbyists and government relations professionals who can push its agenda on Capitol Hill. If Carlyle really wanted Genachowski for influence rather than investing, it would have given him some sort of part-time title -- not made him a partner on its U.S. buyout team.
No decisions have been made yet on if Genachowski will join the boards of any existing Carlyle portfolio companies in the tech, media and telecom space.
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The U.S. is transparent but overpriced. What's an individual investor to do?
By Geoff Colvin, senior editor-at-large
FORTUNE -- In a global investment bazaar, where's the best place to invest right now?
Depends on who you are, as three recent responses to that question make clear.
I asked David Rubenstein, co-founder and co-CEO of the giant Carlyle Group (CG) private equity firm (assets under management: $180 billion), where he's looking to buy companies MORENov 26, 2013 8:00 AM ET
David Bonderman isn't in a hurry, but he also isn't slamming the IPO door shut.
FORTUNE -- TPG Capital is the largest private equity firm in America that isn't publicly traded, with more than $55 billion in capital under management. And that isn't expected to change any time soon, although TPG boss David Bonderman today nudged the door open a crack, while speaking at the NY Times Dealbook Conference.
"We haven't been MOREDan Primack - Nov 12, 2013 12:47 PM ET
Private equity giant publishes U.S. 'economic indicators'
FORTUNE -- Tomorrow we'll get the jobs report that should have been released more than two weeks ago. September retail sales data comes next Tuesday, while the Consumer Price Index has been pushed back to next Wednesday. And if you want September housing starts, check back during Thanksgiving week.
All of these delays, of course, are courtesy of the mindless government shutdown (which heretofore will MOREDan Primack - Oct 21, 2013 2:18 PM ET
Carlyle has made lots of money on Booz Allen, but the NSA scandal could tamp down future returns.
FORTUNE -- The Carlyle Group has gotten all sorts of unwanted attention this week, as majority shareholder of defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH), where NSA leaker Edward Snowden worked before hopping a flight to Hong Kong.
For the uninitiated, Carlyle (CG) bought a majority stake in the company's government services business for around $2.5 MOREDan Primack - Jun 12, 2013 10:30 AM ET
Is Hertz better off today than it was seven years ago?
FORTUNE -- Hertz's private equity sponsors sold their remaining shares earlier this week, fully existing the company more than 7 years after buying it from Ford Motor Co. (F).
That deal came in the midst of private equity's "golden age," and was one of that era's most-criticized transactions. Not so much the original purchase, but rather the subsequent $1 billion dividend MOREDan Primack - May 9, 2013 3:35 PM ET
Big private equity firms are offering diversified products, but one size may not fit all investors.
FORTUNE -- One year ago I recommended that you buy stock in publicly-traded private equity firms, like Apollo Global Management (APO) and The Carlyle Group (CG). My theory was that such issuers were being undervalued by analysts who obsessed over assets under management (i.e., fund management fees), while paying too little attention to underlying portfolio MOREDan Primack - Apr 29, 2013 2:26 PM ET
Have reports of the club deal's death been greatly exaggerated?
FORTUNE -- Before the financial markets went to hell in a securitized handbasket, private equity firms regularly partnered with each other on the same transactions. These so-called "club deals" sometimes included as many as seven firms, and were a way for private equity to purchase larger and larger companies (while reducing possible competition). In fact, of the 25 largest leveraged buyouts completed MOREDan Primack - Apr 10, 2013 2:31 PM ET
Do private equity firms need to make a structural change?
FORTUNE -- Private equity funds have long featured "hurdle rates," or preferred returns that funds must generate for investors before fund managers get to begin sharing in the profits (i.e., carried interest). But one senior private equity executive believes that current hurdle rates pose "a potential crisis" for the industry.
Jeremy Coller, founder and chief investment officer of Coller Capital, made the comments last MOREDan Primack - Mar 5, 2013 12:33 PM ET
What didn't kill private equity made it stronger.
FORTUNE -- David Rubeinstein, co-founder of The Carlyle Group (CG), believes that the private equity industry is stronger today than before the Great Recession.
Speaking at the SuperReturn International conference in Berlin, Rubenstein argued that private equity faced several serious threats in the wake of the Lehman Brothers collapse. Not only massive decreases in fundraising and deal-making, but also the possibilities of debilitating regulation, MOREDan Primack - Feb 27, 2013 3:48 AM ET
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