Former Dow Jones chief joins CCMP

CCMP Capital Advisors has added Richard Zannino to its roster of operational specialists. Zannino will co-lead the firm's media, consumer and retail investment businesses. Last year, the firm brought on famed turnaround specialist Greg Brenneman as chairman.

Richard Zannino, former chief executive officer of Dow Jones, has joined CCMP Capital Advisors as a managing director to co-lead the firm’s consumer, retail and media investment businesses.

Zannino started at Dow Jones in 2001 as chief financial officer. He initiated a “business and cultural transformation from a newspaper publisher to a more diversified media company”, the firm said in a statement.

Under Zannino’s watch, Dow Jones completed operational improvements and made “$2.5 billion in acquisitions, organic growth investments, business restructurings and assets sales”, CCMP said.

Zannino, considered the chief architect of News Corporation’s $5 billion acquisition of Dow Jones, left the company last year following the deal’s close. He reportedly left the company with a $30 million severance package.

Prior to Dow Jones, Zannino was executive vice president in charge of strategy, finance, mergers and acquisitions, technology and a number of operating units at Liz Claiborne, which he joined in 1998 as CFO. He has also served as CFO at General Signal and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Private equity is a “natural next step for me”, Zannino said in an interview. “I've been lucky to have worked in a broad range of industries with diverse job experiences across finance, strategy, operations and dealmaking over the course of my career.”

Last year, CCMP hired turnaround specialist Greg Brenneman as chairman of the firm. Brenneman had served as a senior executive at Quiznos, Burger King and Continental Airways.

The firm has bided its time during the past few years, being selective with the investments it makes. In June, the firm offered $202 million for bankrupt clothing retailer Eddie Bauer.

CCMP spun out of JPMorgan in 2006 and is investing from its $3.4 billion debut fund. The firm was formerly known as JPMorgan Partners.