The Commerce Department announced Thursday, “Hightower to Step Down as Deputy Commerce Secretary“:
Deputy Commerce Secretary Dennis F. Hightower announced today that he plans to step down effective August 27. He’ll be returning to the private sector to resume his work on corporate governance and training and developing the next generation of global business leaders. At Commerce, Hightower brought skills he learned at the top levels of the business world to help shepherd some of Commerce’s most complicated initiatives, including satellite acquisition, cybersecurity and the Recovery Act’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program.
“We deeply appreciate Dennis’ service, especially the mentoring he provided to senior Commerce managers,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. “He took on some of the Commerce Department’s most difficult management challenges, and in every case, those programs are on a better footing today because of his diligent work.”
Before coming to Commerce, Hightower was chief executive officer of Europe Online Networks S.A., a privately held broadband interactive entertainment company based in Luxembourg. From 1987 to 1996, he was a senior executive of The Walt Disney Company, where he led multi-billion dollar enterprises as president of Television & Telecommunications and president of Consumer Products, Europe/Middle East and Africa.
Hightower was, if not the highest, then one of the highest-ranked members of the Obama Administration with business experience. He and NAM President John Engler had served on the board of Northwest Airlines together.
We previously noted the arrival to Commerce of a great, experienced manufacturer, Peter Perez, who will serve as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing, emphasizing exports and trade. Here’s the Crain’s Detroit Business story, with a comment from NAM President Engler: “Peter will be a strong and effective representative for the manufacturing community within the Administration. His experience as a business and community leader will serve him well … and we very much look forward to working with him in his new capacity.”
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