The White House has tapped a corporate cyber security expert and former Bush administration official to lead the effort to shore up the country’s computer networks and better coordinate with companies that operate 80 percent of those critical systems, reports the Associated Press. Howard A. Schmidt, a former eBay and Microsoft executive, will become the government’s cyber security coordinator, weathering a rocky selection process that dragged on for months, as others turned the job down. President Barack Obama is expected to make the announcement Dec. 22, according to a senior White House official. Schmidt’s selection comes more than 10 months after Obama declared cyber security a priority and ordered a broad administration review. Corporate computer security leaders have expressed frustration with the White House as movement on the job post stalled. At the same time, cyber experts and potential job candidates have complained that the position lacks the budgetary and policy-making authority needed to be successful. Schmidt will report to the National Security Council and closely support the National Economic Council on cyber issues. Roger Thornton, a cyber security expert and chief technology officer for Fortify Software, praised the choice. He said Schmidt understands the technology, has broad management experience, and has worked well within the political arena, a key requirement for the White House post…

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