Former FCC chairman Powell to join media equity fund

August 14, 2005

Michael K. Powell, the recently departed chairman of the FCC, is changing hats from regulator to the regulated. He is joining Providence Equity Partners, a private equity firm that has in recent years built a $9 billion empire of holdings in media and telecommunications companies.

The hiring of Powell, who will hold the title of senior adviser, puts a spotlight on the rapidly growing Rhode Island buyout firm. It was a founding investor in what is now T-Mobile USA, owns stakes in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Warner Music, PanAmSat and the YES Network, the Yankees’ cable channel, among others, the New York Times reported.

Powell, 41, a lawyer, is following a familiar path to his predecessor, William E. Kennard. Kennard joined the Carlyle Group, another big private equity firm after leaving the commission. Powell’s father, Colin L. Powell, the former secretary of state, last month joined Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Silicon Valley’s most famous venture firm, as a part-time partner.

Powell told the New York Times that his role at Providence would be focused on trying to generate new ideas for deals and mentoring Providence’s roster of companies.

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