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Hightower to Step Down as Deputy Commerce Secretary


Thursday, July 15, 2010



Hightower to Step Down as Deputy Commerce Secretary

Former business leader helped manage some of Commerce's most complicated, high-risk initiatives

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.

In addition to his work in the private sector, Hightower has also trained future business leaders as a former professor of management at Harvard Business School, where he focused on leadership, building emerging markets and global general management.

Hightower most recently served on the Boards of Directors of Accenture, Domino’s Pizza, Lightfleet (a start-up high technology company), and privately-held Brown Capital Management. He has formerly served as a board member of The Gillette Company, Northwest Airlines, PanAmSat Corporation, Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation, The TJX Companies, Inc., and as a member of the Price Waterhouse Chairman’s Advisory Council.

Hightower is a decorated Vietnam veteran and has served as a member of the Defense Business Board. He holds an M.B.A. degree from Harvard Business School and a B.S. degree and honorary doctorate from Howard University.