Downturn deepening the talent pool

The corporate restructuring and merger frenzy has resulted in a flood of industry executives joining private equity firms

In August 2008, private equity firm CCMP Capital Advisors hired veteran chief executive and turnaround specialist Greg Brenneman as chairman.

CCMP, which spun out from JP Morgan Partners in 2006, opened an office in Houston for the former chief executive of Burger King and Quiznos near his home in The Woodlands, a suburb of Houston.

The firm, which had been bolstering its operational bench, also drafted in former Kraft Foods and Philip Morris executive John Bowlin and former Triad Hospitals chief James Shelton.

Brenneman's hiring was one of the first ripples in a flood of recent moves by chiefs of corporate America to private equity firms. This year alone, at least 13 former industry luminaries have switched to buyout houses, mostly on the operations side or as senior advisers.

SWITCHING SIDESCEOs who have joined private equity firms this year:

Moved to Moved from
Robert Nardelli Cerberus Chrysler
Richard Zannino CCMP Capital Advisors Dow Jones
Ken Thompson Aquiline Capital Wachovia
Paul Pressler Clayton Dubilier Gap
& Rice
Kai-uwe Ricke Delta Partners Talkline
fredrik Arp Candover Volvo
Keith Jones Permira Morley fund Mgmt
Bruce Chizen Permira Adobe Systems
Henry Silverman Apollo Realogy
francis Lunger Linden Millipore
Marcel Rohner Exigen Capital UBS