Todd S. Nelson arrived as chief executive at Education Management Corp. in 2007, after a two-decade career at the University of Phoenix.
Altogether, four of Education Management's top executives came from the University of Phoenix, a trend that has been repeated at numerous other corporations in the for-profit education industry.
The chief executive of Grand Canyon Education Inc., which went public on Wall Street in 2008 and is also based in Phoenix, succeeded Nelson in 2006 as president of the Apollo Group. Bridgepoint Education Inc., a San Diego corporation that owns two major online universities, went public in 2009 and is run by another team of former University of Phoenix executives.
From HuffPost's piece on Education Management Corp.:
[Education Management Corp.'s] newly installed board, which included representatives from Goldman Sachs and the other private equity investors, sought a new team of executives to run the operations. They drew from the ranks of EDMC’s biggest competitor, the University of Phoenix. Chief among those new recruits was Todd S. Nelson, the longtime former chairman and chief executive of Phoenix's parent company, the Apollo Group.
Under Nelson, the University of Phoenix had become the unquestionable star of the for-profit higher education world, boasting more than 300,000 students and revenues topping $2.4 billion in 2006 -- triple the revenues from five years earlier. But he left abruptly in 2006, after signing a $9.8 million settlement with the Department of Education over allegations of widespread recruiting violations at the school -- allegations that have now resurfaced at EDMC.
Read the entire story of the rise of Education Management Corp. here.
Click on each company to see former University of Phoenix executives: