U Phoenix Owner Apollo Group Announces Sudden Resignation of President

Apollo Group, which owns the University of Phoenix, announced the resignation of its president, Brian Mueller, effective immediately. Mueller headed up the Apollo Group since early 2006 and previously served as CEO of the school's online campus.

Joseph D'Amico, Apollo executive VP, CFO and treasurer, will serve as interim president until a new CEO can be appointed. "Joe has been involved in all aspects of our operation and we are highly confident in his abilities to lead Apollo," said John Sperling, founder and acting executive chairman of the board.

Mueller had been with the company for 20 years. No reason was given for the departure.

In March, the company's share price dropped 27 percent in a day following the loss of a class-action lawsuit filed over illegal stock option pricing. According to an 8K filing by Apollo, a settlement with a group of plaintiffs, including the Alaska Electrical Pension Fund, required the firm to reprice 413,000 outstanding stock options issued to company executives and to adopt "extensive corporate governance reforms." Although the company made no admission of wrongdoing, it was expected to cover plaintiff legal costs. A final settlement hearing is schedule for July 18 in a Phoenix federal court.

The University of Phoenix has 170 locations in the United States and 330,000 students around the world.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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