Advent Wins Ex-Heinz CEO Johnson as Operating Partner

Advent International Corp., the $32 billion Boston-based buyout firm, said it engaged William Johnson, the former HJ Heinz & Co. chairman and chief executive officer, as operating partner to help identify investments in the consumer industry.

Johnson will focus on consumer packaged goods and food, Advent said today in a statement. The firm has more than 60 senior industry executives in its operating partner program, who work as independent consultants to Advent and its portfolio companies.

Heinz was taken private last year by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and Jorge Paulo Lemann’s 3G Capital, and Johnson was replaced by former Burger King Worldwide Inc. CEO Bernardo Hees. Johnson, 65, led the food maker for 15 years and pushed through a turnaround plan after investors including Nelson Peltz agitated for change.

(Corrects spelling of Advent in headline.)
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