John Dionne was hired as CIO and senior managing director of Blackstone Distressed Debt Advisors, a new unit of Blackstone Group. Mr. Dionne will lead development of a new distressed debt investment strategy, emphasizing smaller, less efficiently traded issues. A source with knowledge of the new unit, who asked not to be identified, said Mr. Dionne's product development work will likely lead to the introduction of hedge funds focusing on distressed debt. Mr. Dionne was a partner at the $1 billion hedge fund Bennett Restructuring Fund. Jim Bennett, managing partner of the restructuring fund, said in a statement: "Although we regret John's departure, we wish him well in his exciting new career opportunity." A spokesman for Bennett Management declined to comment about a replacement for Mr. Dionne.