Lincoln student loan company Nelnet announced Friday that Steve Butterfield, co-chief executive officer, will retire after the company’s annual meeting in May.
Butterfield, 54, will remain as vice chairman of the company’s board of directors.
He will not be replaced as co-CEO. Nelnet Chairman and co-CEO Mike Dunlap will run the company, said spokesman Ben Kiser.
Kiser said Butterfield’s decision was a personal one that “allows him the opportunity to spend more time with his family and stay committed to Nelnet in three capacities — as vice chairman, supporting our marketing efforts, and as a significant shareholder.”
Butterfield and Dunlap founded Nelnet in 1996 and have shared the title of CEO since the company became publicly traded in 2003.
“I am proud of the great company we have built at Nelnet,” Butterfield said in a news release. “So much of what we have accomplished has been through the hard work of our associates. It has been my great privilege to work for them. Their dedication and professionalism gives me great confidence in the future of Nelnet.”
As part of his retirement, Butterfield plans to reduce his stake in the company from 6 million to 4 million shares. The 2 million shares will be repurchased by Nelnet, the company said in the news release.