Executive moves, week of July 13, 2009

Huntsman Gay poaches Citi exec

Gary Crittenden

last week stepped down as chairman of Citi Holdings to join private equity firm Huntsman Gay Global Capital as a managing director.

“I have been interested in private equity for many years and after a long career working with large public companies, the time is right to pursue this interest,” Crittenden said in a prepared statement. “Huntsman Gay presented me with the ideal opportunity to apply my experience with Fortune 500 companies to the middle market, where there are many compelling businesses we can help make significant improvements and become market leaders.”

Crittenden had served as Citigroup’s chief financial officer until this past March, when the firm pushed many of its riskiest assets into Citi Holdings. He was succeeded as CFO by Ed Kelly, who now will become Citigroup’s vice chairman, while John Gerspach takes over as CFO.

Prior to joining Citigroup, Crittenden spent seven years as CFO and head of network services for American Express. He also has served as CFO for both Monsanto and Sears, Roebuck & Co.

Huntsman Gay is a new private equity firm based in Utah, featuring folks like John Huntsman (founder of chemical co. Huntsman Corp.), Bob Gay (formerly of Bain Capital), Rich Lawson (formerly of Sorenson Capital) and Steve Young (formerly of Sorenson and onetime NFL quarterback). It has secured more than $1 billion in capital commitments for its debut fund, but has not yet held a final close.

Buch leaves BlueRun

Vineet Buch

has resigned as a partner with BlueRun Ventures to become vice president of corporate development at visual-search company Like.com Inc.

Buch, who joined the firm in 2005, previously co-founded Like.com and currently sits on its board. Like has raised more than $54 million in funding from BlueRun and other investors since 2004.

Buch told the Wall Street Journal that he plans to continue to invest in tech startups as an angel investor.

Bush leaves BlueRun less than a month after Kari-Pekka “KP” Wilska joined BlueRun as an operating partner. Wilska was previously a telecom executive who spent decades working at Finnish cell phone maker Nokia Corp. and was most recently a venture partner for Austin Ventures.

Somberg relocates to Europe

Debra Somberg

, a general partner at Seattle-based Maveron, has moved to Germany where her husband has joined the faculty at the University of Hamburg. She says she plans to continue her board roles with Maveron as a venture partner.

Somberg previously co-founded Thomas Weisel Partners. She joined Maveron in 2000 as a partner.

In an email to friends and colleagues, Somberg wrote: “I am excited about the opportunity to connect with interesting people, companies and investors in Europe.”

Shea heads to GenNx360

Andrew Shea

has joined New York-based GenNx360 Capital Partners as a managing partner. He previously was a principal with Allied Capital.

GenNx360 focuses on underperforming industrial business-to-business companies with anywhere from $250 million to $1 billion in revenue.

Piper Jaffray boosts staff

David Silverman

and Matt Kane have joined Piper Jaffray as San Francisco-based managing directors in the firm’s technology media and telecom group, with a focus on software.

Silverman previously was a partner with 3i Group, while Kane worked at Cowen & Co.

Saban hires Dekel

Elie Dekel

has joined Saban Capital Group as a Los Angeles-based managing director, with a focus on licensing, merchandising and IP opportunities. Dekel previously was head of licensing and merchandising for 20th Century Fox.

Insight promotes Kerlin

Insight Equity

has promoted Eliot Kerlin to principal.

Kerlin joined the firm in 2005, and manages its investment in RV component maker Atwood Mobile Products.

Thompson to advise Aquiline Capital

Ken Thompson

, former CEO of Wachovia Corp., has joined Aquiline Capital Partners as senior advisor, according to The American Banker newspaper.

Thompson was reportedly ousted from Wachovia last year, and the company was later acquired by Wells Fargo.

SafeNet lassos CEO

Digital security company SafeNet ended its CEO-less streak of nearly three years by appointing Mark Floyd to the role. Floyd last ran Entrisphere, a communications equipment provider which sold to Ericsson in 2007. Buyout firm Vector Capital bought SafeNet in 2007.

Volpi jettisons Joost

Mike Volpi left his position as head of online video company Joost to take a position as a partner with Index Ventures. The long-time Cisco executive, who once ran the company’s venture investing group, will maintain his role as Joost chairman. Joost is an Index Ventures portfolio company.

Sweeney switches spots

Ryan Sweeney joined Accel Partners as a partner focused on growth investments. He was previously a principal with North Bridge Venture Partners and, before that, with Summit Partners.

Krakoff signs off at Sigma

Roger Krakoff left Sigma Partners, where he spent the past five years as a venture partner. VentureWire reports that Krakoff began fund-raising on his own Boston-area VC firm.

China picks Feng

Wilson Feng, a former senior banker for Merrill Lynch, has been chosen to run China’s newly-formed $1.46 billion nuclear investment fund.

Edwards Angell beefs up PE practice

Law firm Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge added David Ramm and Richard Kimbal as partners to up its private equity and venture capital practices. Ramm will work out of London and Kimball will work from Boston. EAPD did over 240 private equity deals in 2008, according to a recent report.

Cinven’s Hall steps down

Robin Hall has stepped down as managing partner of European buyout firm Cinven, after more than 20 years in the role. He will transition into the newly-created role of executive chairman, with Hugh Langmuir taking over the managing partner position.

Palamon gets Wolman

Richard Wolman, a human resources consultant, has joined Palamon Capital Partners’ board of advisors.

Day dawns at new firm

Rob Day has joined Black Coral Capital, a private equity firm focused on clean energy technologies, as a partner. He previously was with @Ventures and, before that, was with Expansion Capital Partners. Day also writes a cleantech investing blog for Greentech Media.

Ousted Wachovia CEO gets new gig

Former Wachovia Corp. CEO Ken Thompson joined private equity firm Aquiline Capital Partners as a senior advisor, according to reports. Wachovia’s board of directors forced Thompson out prior to the company’s sale to Wells Fargo, according to reports.

Cipio promotes Meyel

Secondary firm Cipio Partners promoted Diana Meyel to partner.

Compiled by Alastair Goldfisher, Alexander Haislip and Lawrence Aragon