TPG bulks up tech-advisory bench with three veteran execs

TPG named three veteran tech executives to its board of advisers to help identify and lead investments in data, development and operations and digital transformation.

TPG added Sohaib Abbasi, Stephen Elop, and Jeffrey Tarr as senior advisers to the six-member technology advisory group.

The advisers will spend half their time at the firm, helping TPG partners identify, source and close deals, as well as potentially assume leadership positions at acquired companies, TPG told Buyouts. A broader announcement was expected later on Friday.

Advisers will also assist in due diligence and analysis around M&A prospects to ultimately take part in decision-making on deals.

One of the main responsibilities will be identifying data-rich companies that can take advantage of DevOps tools and companies that assist large enterprises in digital transformation.

All three have relevant experience in data, DevOps, and digital transformation, key areas of focus for new investments at TPG. Other advisers within the tech group focus on supply chain, marketing tech, telecom, payments and other segments.

“Data is the new oil,” Jim Coulter, co-founder and CEO of TPG, said in November on Bloomberg TV. “The idea of data products is going to dominate the years ahead.”

Abbasi, who has more than 30 years of experience in enterprise software, most recently was chairman and CEO of Informatica. He currently serves on the boards of McAfee, Red Hat, New Relic, and StreamSets.

Tarr has significant experience leading data and information-intensive businesses and has led the growth of three publicly traded companies.

He was CEO of DigitalGlobe, president and COO of IHS and chairman and CEO of Hoover’s. He currently serves as vice chair of Stanford Graduate School of Business Management’s Board, and co-chair of the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on space technologies.

Elop, who has more than 20 years of experience spanning enterprise software and smart devices, most recently was group executive of technology, innovation and strategy at Telstra. He previously was executive vice president of Microsoft’s Devices Group, and before that, president and CEO of Nokia.

“From disruptors to established  entities, we strive to partner with innovative companies and management teams that are driving change across industries,” said Nehal Raj, partner and head of technology investing, said in the announcement.

TPG’s current board includes Dan Dershem who focuses on supply chain, David Karnstedt on marketing tech, Afshin Mohebbi on telecom, Carl Pascarella on payments, Ameet Patel on infrastructure and Tony Reisz on insurance tech.

Down the line, TPG may add one or two board members to focus on healthcare IT and security software, but the firm has no immediate plans to conduct such search or hiring.

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