- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 22, 2007


SLM Corp., the student lender commonly known as Sallie Mae, yesterday said Thomas J. Fitzpatrick, vice chairman and chief executive, is resigning to pursue other interests and is being replaced by the company’s chief financial officer.

Over the next few weeks, Mr. Fitzpatrick, 58, will serve the Reston company in an advisory role to facilitate the transition, according to a company release. C.E. Andrews, 55, Sallie Mae’s executive vice president and CFO, will replace Mr. Fitzpatrick.

Sallie Mae’s board thanked Mr. Fitzpatrick for his “many years of leadership and exemplary service” and said he was one of the architects of its transformation from a government-sponsored secondary market to a diversified education-finance company.

SLM last month agreed to be sold to private-equity firm J.C. Flowers & Co. and three other investors in a $25 billion deal.

“The Sallie Mae board sought and received assurances from the Flowers group that Fitzpatrick’s departure would not impact their plans to proceed with the acquisition,” according to a release.

J. Christopher Flowers, chairman of the New York firm, said he supports Mr. Fitzpatrick’s decision to step down and looks forward to working with Mr. Andrews “as we work toward finalizing our acquisition of the company.”

SLM’s board and Mr. Fitzpatrick agreed that “now is the right time change leadership,” said Tom Joyce, a spokesman for the company. He added that there was no truth to a published report that Mr. Flowers has asked for Mr. Fitzpatrick’s resignation.

The nation’s largest student lender also last month disclosed that the Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating trading in SLM’s stock related to the planned buyout. That action is separate from a probe of sales of company stock that SLM Chairman Albert L. Lord made a few days before the Bush administration’s 2008 budget proposal, which contained cuts in student-loan subsidies that could hamper Sallie Mae’s profits, was made public.

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