The company, which agreed last month to a $25.6 billion buyout at the hands of an investor group led by J.C. Flowers, said its board "sought and received assurances from the Flowers group that Mr. Fitzpatrick's departure would not impact their plans to proceed with the acquisition."
Sallie named finance chief C.E. Andrews to replace Fitzpatrick as CEO. Fitzpatrick will serve the company in coming weeks in an advisory role, Sallie said.
"We thank Tim Fitzpatrick for his many years of leadership and exemplary service to Sallie Mae," the company said. "Tim was one of the architects of Sallie Mae's transformation from a government-sponsored secondary market to a diversified education finance company, and he played an important role in the company's operating success over the past 10 years. He has made an enormous contribution toward establishing Sallie Mae as the industry leader in serving students and schools. We wish Tim further success in the future."