Mr. Kovacic, a former FTC general counsel, replaces Deborah Platt Majoras, who is resigning March 30 to become Procter & Gamble's general counsel. Mr. Kovacic became an FTC commissioner in early 2006. As an existing commissioner, Mr. Kovacic's designation as chairman does not need Senate confirmation.
A 'terrific' choice
In a statement today, Ms. Majoras praised the choice as "terrific."
"Having served in several capacities at the agency -- most recently as commissioner and, previously, general counsel -- he brings deep institutional knowledge, long-standing dedication to the mission, and great respect for staff," she said. "Bill is a free-market champion and a highly regarded advisor to emerging competition authorities around the globe."
Mr. Kovacic was general counsel of the FTC from 2001 to 2004. The position followed an earlier stint at the commission from 1979 to 1983, first with the Bureau of Competition's Planning Office and later as an attorney advisor to a former FTC commissioner.