Obama's deputy CTO leaves to launch start-ups
Andrew McLaughlin, the nation's deputy chief technology officer, said Wednesday he is resigning his post to launch two start-ups aimed at technology development in communities in the United States and abroad.
McLaughlin, who previously worked as a Google executive, oversaw many of the White House's Internet policy initiatives including Internet access regulations, the expansion of broadband connections and global cybersecurity.
The announcement of McLaughlin's departure comes a day after the Federal Communications Commission passed its controversial net-neutrality rules, which bar broadband providers from impeding Internet traffic into American homes. President Obama has endorsed the regulations, which he promised during his election campaign and said Tuesday he would work to uphold them.
McLaughlin gained special scrutiny from Rep. Darryl Issa (R-Calif.) and some privacy advocates critical of the search giant after it was discovered he corresponded by e-mail to Google employees, which breaks his ethics pledge.
Some competitors and tech industry observers have criticized the administration for the hiring of several former Google employees and the appointment of the company's chief executive, Eric Schmidt, as an economic adviser. They say the company wields too much influence in the government. Other economic advisors to the White House come from Microsoft, IBM, GE and Cisco.
In an e-mail, McLaughlin, who previously served as Google's head of global public policy, said he was ready to rejoin the private sector after two years in the White House. He will remain in Washington as he launches his start-up ventures. His last day at the White House is Thursday.
"I'm interested in fostering low-cost, collaborative tech for state and local governments, and also in supporting new start-ups in developing countriesone non-profit the other for-profit," McLaughlin wrote in an e-mail.
McLaughlin also said he will return to teaching law, which he did at Harvard University's Berkman Center seven years ago.
McLaughlin joined the White House's high-tech advisory and policy office headed by CTO Aneesh Chopra and CIO Vivek Kundra after working on President Obama's transition following the election.
"My White House experience has been fantastic, but it's been more than 2 years since I started working on the transition, and I've been feeling the itch to get entrepreneurial again," McLaughlin wrote.
| December 22, 2010; 9:45 PM ET
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