Cisco picked up a convenient free agent on Thursday, hiring former US FCC (Federal Communications Commission) chief Michael Powell for its board.
Powell will make time for Cisco, when he can get away from current gigs as advisor to Providence Equity Partners, chairman of his eponymous MK Powell Group consulting firm and additional board duties at ObjectVideo. Before joining the consulting circuit, Powell served as FCC chairman from 2001 to 2005.
The strong Bush ally often garnered press for conservative positions on media issues – most notably via a relentless campaign against shock jock Howard Stern and through efforts to erase Janet Jackson's SuperBowl nipple from the minds of America's youth.
During public engagements, then FCC chief Powell often took on the awkward role of marketeer, professing his love for gadgets and demanding that Americans upgrade to digital televisions for the good of the nation. Such positions should serve Cisco well, as the company tries to expand from the data center to the living room with a wide variety of networking products.
You can bet that Powell, the son of Colin, knows the right people to squeeze in Washington on a number of issues close to Cisco's heart.
“Broadband penetration, here we come,” Cisco might have said in a statement. ®