Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox was scheduled to undergo surgery to remove a benign tumor of the thymus yesterday. He is expected to be hospitalized just a few days and to make a full recovery.

"I look forward to returning to my duties very quickly," said the chairman. "I plan to be back in the office in mid-February."

The SEC would not disclose where Cox is being treated, The Wall Street Journal indicated. Officials did say, however, that there would not be an acting chairman during his absence and that he would be telecommuting.

Cox, a former republican Congressman from California, joined the SEC last summer, succeeding the controversial tenure of former Wall Street executive William Donaldson.

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