Gerstner will join Carlyle on Jan. 7, the company announced Thursday, offering strategic advice, lending perspective to the management of Carlyle's portfolio companies and reviewing Carlyle's global investments. Gerstner will also serve on the company's various committees.
"Carlyle is a world-class firm with an outstanding record of achievement--a record built on a strong, global business base and a team of creative, focused professionals," Gerstner said in a statement.
"This is an exciting time to be in private equity, and I look forward to sharing my perspective and experiences with Carlyle and, most importantly, helping to grow its already successful business."
Gerstner will replace Frank Carlucci, who will become chairman emeritus.
Gerstner, 60, will arrive at Carlyle after havingthe lumbering IBM. During a nine-year period, Gerstner worked to make Big Blue into a global computing and services powerhouse.
His career has also included a four-year stint as chairman and chief executive of RJR Nabisco and 11 years at American Express, where he oversaw that company's largest subsidiary, American Express Travel Related Services.