U.S. Justice Dept. names acting antitrust chief

WASHINGTON Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:36pm EST

WASHINGTON Nov 16 (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department on Friday named a new acting head of its antitrust division as it waits for the Senate to vote on the stalled nomination of William Baer for that post.

Attorney General Eric Holder named Renata Hesse, a deputy in the division, to lead it in an acting capacity.

"Renata is a veteran antitrust lawyer who will lead the Antitrust Division during this time of transition on its mission to vigorously and effectively enforce the antitrust laws," Holder said in a statement.

The announcement comes on the day the previous acting head of the division, Joseph Wayland, left the department.

The stalled nomination of Baer to be antitrust chief may move forward in the coming weeks, Reuters reported last week. The nomination has been held up by still-secret information contained in an FBI background report.

After a stint in private practice , Hesse re-joined the department in March as a special advisor for civil enforcement, then as deputy assistant attorney general.

She previously worked in the Justice Department's antitrust division as a staff attorney in its merger task force, in its transportation, energy and agriculture section, and as chief of its networks and technology enforcement section.