CRTC commissioners have appointed vice-chairman Len Katz as the regulator’s new acting chair, the commission announced Wednesday. Katz, who previously served as the commission’s vice-chair of telecommunications, will hold the position on an interim basis as the federal government seeks a long-term replacement to former chair Konrad von Finckenstein, whose five-year term ended Jan. 24. Katz joined the CRTC in January 2005 as the commission’s executive director of telecommunications through the federal government’s executive interchange program. He later served as the commission’s executive director of broadcasting and telecommunications until his appointment to the vice-chair role in October 2007. Initially appointed to the commission for a one-year term, Katz' position was extended in October 2008 and is now set to expire on Oct. 11, 2012. Prior to joining the commission, he worked at BCE Inc. from 1974 to 1985 and at Rogers Communications Inc. until 2001. He was also president and chief operating officer of Digimerge Technologies Inc. just prior to joining the commission. Katz is the founder and chairman of the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association Clearinghouse for wireless carriers. In an internal email announcing the appointment Wednesday, CRTC secretary general John Traversy said Katz would retain the acting chair’s position until the government selects a full-time successor. “I am sure that Len can count on your help and support during this transition,” Traversy wrote. “Please join me in congratulating Mr. Katz and wishing him well as Acting Chairman of the CRTC.” The CRTC Act permits the commission to authorize one of its two vice-chairs to serve as acting chair while awaiting a governor-in-council appointment. Katz was selected for the position over Tom Pentefountas, who has served as vice-chairman of broadcasting since April 2011.