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Career Education names Steffey as its CEO

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (AP) -- Career Education has named education investor and former Strayer executive Scott Steffey as president and CEO as the for-profit education company deals with declining student enrollments.

Steffey takes over from Steve Lesnik, the company's chairman, who has served as interim CEO since late 2011. Lesnik is also stepping down at Career Education's annual shareholder meeting in May.

Lesnik had taken over after former CEO Gary McCullough resigned during a period of regulatory changes and media scrutiny of for-profit education companies. Enrollments soared during the recession, but have shrunk in recent years as the Obama administration put in place new, stricter regulations on recruitment and marketing practices.

Career Education, which has about 75,000 students taking classes at its schools and online, posted a 20 percent drop in revenue last year as its losses deepened. Shares have dropped 69 percent over the past 12 months.

Career Education Corp. will choose a new chairman will be selected at or before the May 14 annual meeting, and Steffey will be nominated for a board seat.

Steffey was most recently president of Symposium Ventures, which he founded. The firm helps hedge funds, investment banks and other private equity firms invest in education companies and non-profit institutions. Before that, he was chief operating officer for another for-profit education provider, Strayer Education Inc., and vice chancellor of the State University of New York.

Shares of the Schaumburg, Ill., company fell 11 cents, or 4.6 percent, to $2.17 in morning trading Monday. Over the past year, the stock has traded between $2.17 and $7.49.