Kewsong Lee resigned today as CEO and member of the board of directors of The Carlyle Group. In a statement issued on Sunday, the alternative investment giant said the board and Lee had mutually agreed not to renew his contract, which was due to last through the end of 2022. No reason was given for the move other than “the timing is right to initiate a search for a new CEO to lead Carlyle forward in its next phase of growth.”
Co-founder Bill Conway will serve as interim CEO while the search for a new candidate takes place. The search will be conducted by a newly formed board committee including Conway as well as independent directors Lawton Fitt, Anthony Welters, Linda Filler and Derica Rice.
Carlyle also set up an Office of the CEO to assist Conway as he fulfills his Interim CEO duties, as well as to ensure a seamless transition. The newly formed body includes Peter Clare, CIO for Corporate Private Equity and chairman of Americas Private Equity; Mark Jenkins, head of Global Credit; Ruulke Bagijn, head of Global Investment Solutions; and Chief Financial Officer Curtis Buser, who agreed to postpone his previously-announced retirement at the end of this year in order to facilitate the transition process.
The company’s statement quoted Lee as saying, “I am grateful for my time at Carlyle and thankful for the opportunity to build the firm with an incredibly talented and committed team. I feel immense pride in our many accomplishments during these complex and challenging times, especially the firm’s record financial results, strong investment performance, and continued leadership on DEI and ESG initiatives.”