Democratic former Gov. Deval Patrick joins Bain Capital

New York (CNN)Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has joined the private equity firm Bain Capital — a company co-founded by former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and vilified during the 2012 elections.

Patrick, a Democrat who succeeded Romney as governor of Massachusetts in 2007, left office earlier this year. As a managing director, Patrick will lead a newly created division that focuses on investment projects aimed at making "significant, measurable social impact," Bain said in a press release.
"Bain Capital is widely recognized as both an innovative investment firm and a philanthropic and community leader," Patrick said in a statement. "I am thrilled to work with such a dedicated team to connect these two strengths, and I am confident that we can find compelling investments that deliver both attractive financial returns and positive social outcomes."
Patrick's first day at the firm is Tuesday and he will be based out of Boston.
    Democrats made Romney's work at Bain Capital central to their attacks of the former Republican governor during the 2012 campaign. The industry ruthlessly laid off workers while top executives like Romney profited handsomely, Democrats argued. Private equity defenders pointed out that the industry helps turn around companies on the brink of shutting down, and that its profits benefit a range of individuals and entities, such as pensioners and university endowments.
    At the height of the 2012 campaign, Patrick defended Bain, saying he believed the firm's strategy had been "distorted" in public debate.
    "I think Bain is a perfectly fine company," Patrick said on MSNBC. "They've got a role in the private economy and I've got a lot of friends there on both sides of the aisle."