Oct 17, 2019

U.S. postmaster general to resign next year

Brennan as the U.S. Postal Service COO in 2012. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

U.S. postmaster general Megan Brennan — the first woman to serve in the role — announced on Wednesday that she will retire on Jan. 31 of next year, completing her planned five years in the position.

The big picture: A task force created by President Trump said last December that the U.S. Postal Service should consider increasing the cost of shipping for some packages, which could hurt Amazon and other e-commerce companies.

The state of play: The president previously expressed his frustrations with Brennan to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the Washington Post reports, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office "was aware of the president’s desire to replace her."

  • "Brennan had explained to the president in multiple conversations that he cannot undo Amazon’s contracts without a regulatory commission review, and had also argued that the relationship benefits both Amazon and the Postal Service," the Post reports.
  • In November last year, soon-to-be House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said that Trump "was secretly meeting with the postmaster [general] in an effort to browbeat the postmaster [general] into raising postal rates on Amazon."

Where it stands: The U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors, which will elect the next postmaster general, has a quorum of nine Trump appointees on its 11-member board.

Go deeper: Postal report puts muscle behind Trump's Amazon grudge

Go deeper

The polarized pandemic election

A Trump supporter protests Pennsylvania's stay-at-home order, during a May 15 rally outside the Capitol in Harrisburg. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

President Trump is going all-in on pushing for a rapid, robust return to normal life, creating a visual, visceral contrast with Joe Biden and other Democrats who are more reticent to rip the masks off.

The state of play: Business friends have been urging Trump from the beginning to keep the lockdowns short. He's listening more and more.

Tech's long hot summer of antitrust

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Google, Facebook and other tech giants face a summer of regulatory grilling as long-running investigations into potential anticompetitive practices likely come to a head.

The big picture: Probes into the power of Big Tech launched by federal and state authorities are turning a year old, and observers expect action in the form of formal lawsuits and potentially damning reports — even as the companies have become a lifeline for Americans during the pandemic lockdown.

Palantir CEO hits Silicon Valley "monoculture," may leave California

Palantir is "getting close" to a decision on whether to move the company out of California, CEO Alex Karp said in an interview for "Axios on HBO."

The state of play: "We haven't picked a place yet, but it's going to be closer to the East Coast than the West Coast. ... If I had to guess, I would guess something like Colorado."