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Harvard loses another private equity investment boss

February 12, 2014: 1:12 PM ET

Lane MacDonald is leaving Harvard Management Co., just four months after being put in charge of private equity investments.

FORTUNE -- Harvard Management Co. needs to find its third private equity boss in less than a year.

Last October, the $33 billion endowment manager picked Lane MacDonald to fill the position that had been vacant since Peter Dolan's departure a few months earlier. Now MacDonald has called it quits, after agreeing to become head of Crosby Advisors -- the New Hampshire-based family office for Fidelity Investments' billionaire Johnson clan (Abby,  Ned, etc.).

Unclear so far how this is playing broadly within HMC, given that MacDonald took on the role so recently (and just last month was meeting with GPs). My guess is that most folks will view the Crosby opportunity as one that he just couldn't pass up. After all, MacDonald only was running a small piece of Harvard's endowment, whereas he'll now be leading investments for a family that, as of last check, was worth more than $22 billion.

HMC declined to comment on MacDonald's move, although we've confirmed it with several sources (and The Boston Globe is reporting the same thing). MacDonald – a onetime PE exec at Alta Communications and captain of Harvard's 1989 NCAA championship ice hockey team – also did not reply.

RELATED: Harvard is a great school, but a lousy investor

It appears that HMC's John Shue will once again serve as interim private equity director while a permanent replacement is found. Shue was believed to be in the running last time around, and a source close to the situation says that the prior search was recent enough that the new one may not need to be quite so exhaustive.

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Dan Primack
Dan Primack
Senior Editor, Fortune

Dan Primack joined Fortune.com in September 2010 to cover deals and dealmakers, from Wall Street to Sand Hill Road. Previously, Dan was an editor-at-large with Thomson Reuters, where he launched both peHUB.com and the peHUB Wire email service. In a past journalistic life, Dan ran a community paper in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He currently lives just outside of Boston.

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