ABS issuer Sallie Mae, formally SLM Corp., announced that Albert Lord, the firm's vice chairman and chief executive officer will retire as CEO, effective Dec. 31, 2013.

The student lender’s board of directors has appointed a search committee to facilitate an effective transition and consider identified internal and qualified external candidates.

Lord started his career with Sallie Mae in 1981 as its Controller, eight years after the firm was created as a federally chartered entity that expanded access to education loans.

Lord has also served as chairman of the board and in different executive positions within Sallie such as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer. He returned to the company in a successful proxy contest and was key in the move toward Sallie's privatization in 1997 and its diversification into private education loans. 

“My years at Sallie Mae have been many and never lacked for excitement or challenges,” Lord said. “Together with my many associates over these years, we have accomplished much, and I take pride that we do student lending the way it should be done. Notwithstanding the devastating financial crisis of 2008/2009, Sallie Mae emerged with significantly greater financial strength and a major league roster of key managers across the company. Our capital strength and strong cash earnings brighten Sallie Mae’s future. In the months through 2013, I will work with my management team to continue our growth.”

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