Kennard Heads to Carlyle

Washington— Former Democratic FCC chairman William Kennard has landed a prized position with the Carlyle Group here, a $13 billion private-equity firm stacked with Republican heavyweights.

According to The Washington Post, former President George Bush is an adviser to Carlyle's Asia fund, and partners in the firm include former Secretary of State James A. Baker III and former Defense secretary Frank C. Carlucci. It has an estimated worth of $3.5 billion.

In his new position, Kennard will serve as managing director of Carlyle's global telecommunications and media investing strategy. He begins his new job May 14, Carlyle said in statement Wednesday.

"Bill Kennard will be an invaluable asset to Carlyle. He was an outstanding FCC chairman and has a deep knowledge of the players and the rapidly changing technologies in the telecommunications world," Carlyle chairman Carlucci said in a statement. "We are delighted that he is joining us."

Kennard resigned Jan. 19, one day before the Bush administration took over the White House. He became FCC chairman in November 1999, succeeding Democrat Reed Hundt.

Carlyle describes itself as one of the world's largest private-equity firms. It claims to have achieved a 34-percent internal rate of return on $3.5 billion in equity capital invested since 1987.

Carlyle hit the jackpot in the cable industry in 1998 with partner Prime Communications of Texas. The pair put down $250 million to buy cable systems in Arlington, Va., and Montgomery County, Md., from SBC Communications Inc.

Carlyle and Prime received $735 million in cash just six months later when Comcast Corp. bought the properties in a $1.35-billion deal, including assumed debt.