Sallie Mae has gone outside the company for a CEO to replace Raymond Quinlan.
Quinlan will step down from his role and will be succeeded by Jonathan Witter, currently chief customer officer of Hilton Worldwide Holdings. Witter will also join the board of directors of the Newark area company.
Quinlan will continue to work with Witter and the company as Chairman of the Board until Sallie Mae’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders, scheduled to take place on June 18.
Sallie Mae’s Board will appoint a new chairman in conjunction with Quinlan’s departure from the board on June 18.
At Hilton, Witter has overseen the company’s global brands, marketing, loyalty and partnerships, IT, and strategy teams.
Previously, he spent seven years at Capital One as President of Retail and Direct Banking, served as Chief Operating Officer of Morgan Stanley’s Retail Banking Group, and was Executive Vice President and Head of General Bank Distribution at Wachovia.
Witter said, “I am excited to assume the role as Sallie Mae’s next CEO. Sallie Mae has a rich history of helping students build prosperous futures and, as their needs grow and change, we will be there to support them. I look forward to working closely with the Board, management team, and talented employees to leverage the company’s momentum and competitive position to realize the value inherent in Sallie Mae.”
“Today’s announcement is the culmination of a thoughtful succession planning process to ensure that Sallie Mae is best positioned to continue delivering sustainable long-term value creation,” said Paul Child, lead independent director of the board. “The board carefully evaluated a number of highly qualified individuals and concluded that Jon is the best candidate to be the next CEO of Sallie Mae. Jon is an experienced financial services executive with a strong track record of operational excellence and customer engagement. We look forward to an exciting new chapter for Sallie Mae under Jon’s leadership.”
Child continued, “Ray has been successful in managing the company’s efforts to build a market-leading brand, expand Sallie Mae’s products and offerings, and create a culture of exceptional service. The Board is grateful for his numerous contributions and appreciates that he will provide counsel and assistance during the upcoming transition period.”
“It has been a great privilege to lead Sallie Mae for over six years, and I am proud of what we have accomplished and how well-positioned the company is for continued success,” said Quinlan. “Together, we have established Sallie Mae as an industry leader with an important mission – providing millions of students with access and opportunity through higher education. I am confident it’s the right time to transition the company to its next generation of leadership, and that under Jon, Sallie Mae will continue to perform and deliver on its long-term growth plans.”
Under Quinlan, Sallie Mae spun off its loan servicing operations under Navient, a publicly-traded company based in Wilmington. The company also expanded in Delaware with the addition of a servicing center in the New Castle area.