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TechAmerica Axes Top Government Representative

The technology lobbying group has fired Mike Hettinger after only nine months on the job.

TechAmerica has jettisoned Mike Hettinger, senior vice president for public sector, and is handing its government lobbying work to consultants, according to Federal News Radio.

The media outlet obtained an internal email to TechAmerica members from Todd Thibodeaux, president and CEO of CompTIA, which confirmed the move.

The decision to oust Hettinger follows a year of upheaval for TechAmerica, as it attempted to reorganize itself after its lead public-sector lobbyists jumped ship for similar roles with its rival, the Information Technology Industry Council.

Sources say that CompTIA, which bought TechAmerica in May, was redirecting resources away from the organization’s public-sector work, Federal News Radio reports. CompTIA announced Tuesday that it was bringing aboard Larry Allen and William Greenwalt as senior advisers to handle public-sector outreach and activities.

“There is a long history with TechAmerica of producing robust programs to help our members expand their market opportunities, drive technology adoption, build strong relationships and make more informed decisions,” said Elizabeth Hyman, executive vice president of TechAmerica, in a statement. “Larry Allen and Bill Greenwalt are pre-eminent experts in this field and will further help our members stay connected to defense, civil and federal CIOs and decision-makers.”

A source told Federal News Radio that CompTIA’s purchase of TechAmerica was likely more about compiling a resource rather than looking at public-sector issues.

"CompTIA is not interested in the public sector,” said an industry source. “It looks like they were buying TechAmerica for its mailing list and are not interested in the other issues. Firing Mike indicates that. And I think hiring two consultants signals to the world that their core mission has changed and they've decided to go in [a] different direction. This is a competitive business, and companies will not ante up for a group that is not 100 percent committed for lobbying and public policy."

Brian Heaton was a writer for Government Technology and Emergency Management magazines from 2011 to mid-2015.