Sallie Mae (NASDAQ: SLM), formally SLM Corporation, today announced that after service spanning more than 30 years, its Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Albert L. Lord will retire as CEO, Vice Chairman and Director, effective Dec. 31, 2013. Sallie Mae’s Board of Directors has appointed a search committee to facilitate an effective transition and consider identified internal candidates, as well as qualified external candidates. “My years at Sallie Mae have been many and never lacked for excitement or challenges,” said Albert L. Lord, Vice Chairman & CEO. “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.” Mr. Lord began his career with Sallie Mae in 1981 as its Controller, eight years after Sallie Mae’s creation as a federally chartered entity created to provide expanded access to education loans. He has also served as Chairman of the Board and in various executive positions at the company, including Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Lord returned to the company in a successful proxy contest and was central in efforts to privatize Sallie Mae in 1997 and its diversification into private education loans. Today, Sallie Mae serves over 25 million customers, has assets of $175 billion and offers products and services including college savings programs, scholarship search tools, education loans, tuition insurance, and online banking to help students and their parents save, plan, and pay for college. The company also provides financial services to hundreds of colleges, federal and state governments.