ASHBURN, Va. (AP) _ MCI's board of directors has elected former U.S. Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach as its new chairman.

Katzenbach's appointment, announced Tuesday, takes effect when MCI emerges from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection by the end of April, the company said. He has been a member of the board of directors since July 2002.

Michael Capellas will become MCI's president and remains chief executive. Capellas has been chairman and CEO since December 2002, when he left Compaq Corp., following that company's acquisition by Hewlett-Packard Co.

As part of the management changes, Rick Roscitt, president and chief operating officer, has decided to leave MCI, the company said in a news release.

The separation of the chairman and CEO roles is part of the company's corporate governance reforms, the company statement said.

``Nick has been an invaluable asset to our board and is the perfect choice to help guide MCI as chairman,'' Capellas said in a statement. ``He not only brings the highest level of integrity and breadth of experience to the role, but he has a deep commitment to our customers, employees and the investment community.''

Katzenbach was attorney general from 1964-66, undersecretary of state from 1966-69 and senior vice president and general counsel for IBM Corp. from 1969-86.

The Virginia-based company last week restated its results for 2000 and 2001, wiping away a vast accounting fraud and the effects of the plunging value of its telecommunications assets. The revisions and other actions are among the final milestones in the company's bid to emerge from bankruptcy protection.