Ted Coons has stepped down as a managing director with The Blackstone Group (BX), Fortune has learned. He announced the move this morning in a firm-wide email, saying that he plans to join growth equity firm Technology Crossover Ventures later this year.
Coons joined Blackstone in 2005, and has focused on the technology sector. Not the easiest thing to do at Blackstone, which has shown a mild aversion to the sector.
One exception was Freescale Semiconductor Inc., which Blackstone helped take private in 2006 for $17.6 billion (alongside The Carlyle Group and TPG Capital). That deal once was believed to be one of the worst leveraged buyouts in history, with Blackstone having marked it down by 85% as of December, 31 2008. Since then, however, Freescale has ridden a chip sector revival to higher earnings and lower debt. Last month it filed for a $1.15 billion IPO. One of Blackstone’s Freescale directors, Chip Schorr, left earlier this year to raise his own fund.
TCV, on the other hand, does nothing but technology. It is investing out of a $3 billion fund raised in 2007, and recently has invested in such companies as Groupon, OSIsoft and EverydayHealth.
Prior to joining Blackstone, Coons was a vice president with Credit Suisse’s technology group, where he advised and helped finance semiconductor and capital equipment companies like Brooks Automation, Cypress Semiconductor and Silicon Image. Before that, he was with Deutsche Bank.
I’ve put in calls to both Blackstone and TCV, and will update this post if either responds.
Update: A Blackstone spokesman said the firm has no comment.