Moves: Ex FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Lands Cushy Wall Street Job

  • General
  • April 26, 2021
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  • 4 minutes read

Ajit Pai

In a move that demonstrates the “revolving door” between politics and business still being wide open, Ajit Pai, the former chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under Trump’s administration, has landed a cushy job as a Partner at a leading private equity firm.

  • Ajit Pai has taken a Partner position at Searchlight Capital Partners, a New York-based private equity firm with over $8 billion under management. His appointment comes just a few months after leaving the FCC following the administration change from Trump to Biden.
  • Pai was at the FCC for nine years, first as a Commissioner nominated by Barack Obama then spent five years in that role before becoming Chairman of the commission appointed by Trump.
  • Pai’s tenure at the FCC was rocked by him overseeing the rollback of some net neutrality rules set in place under the Obama administration. That doing earned him a lot of opposition to the extremity of even a death threat. Another landmark event under him was the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint to become the second-largest wireless provider in the US.
  • Before joining the FCC, Pai was an established corporate lawyer in a Partner position at the law firm Jenner & Block and also an in-house counsel at Verizon Communications.
  • Drawing from Pai’s strong experience in telecoms and related businesses, Searchlight Capital has said that he’ll be a prospective board member for its investments in the technology, media, and telecommunications sectors.
  • Searchlight Capital is a leading private equity firm with over $8 billion under management. It has major telecom investments including Canada’s Mitel, which it paid $2 billion to buy in 2018.
  • Searchlight Capital has offices in New York, London and Toronto.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

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