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Can the new Navitas Limited CEO turn things around?

The Navitas Limited (ASX: NVT) share price gained 3.27% to close at $4.77 on Thursday as the education company announced a new CEO will take the helm.

David Buckingham, Navitas’ Chief Financial Officer, is set to replace Rod Jones as the next Navitas Group Chief Executive Officer.

Mr Jones, the co-founder of the Company and Group CEO since its listing in 2004, is stepping down from the role after 23 years of service to the company and the education sector.

The Navitas share price began its ascent on Thursday’s trade at around 10.30am, shortly after the Mr Buckingham’s appointment was announced to the ASX.

But the past few years have been rough on the Navitas share price. It has sunk from $7.71 since mid-2014, shedding almost $3 before yesterday’s close.

And as the company with a market cap of $1.66 billion, which provides education services to 80,000 students, has watched its share price waiver in recent years, others in the education business have done better.

Idp Education Ltd (ASX: IEL), an international education company which provides student placement and commands a market cap of $1.51 billion, has seen its share price rise from $3.40 in November 2016 to close on Thursday $6.00.

Over that same period, another education company, with an emphasis on childcare, G8 Education Ltd (ASX: GEM) has lifted its stock price from around $3.50 up to $4.30.

The Navitas share price has not done so well over that period, losing value from its price of $5.21 in November 2016.

The Chairman of Navitas Limited, Ms Tracey Horton, will likely hope Mr Buckingham, currently Navitas’ Chief Financial Officer, can help turn things around.

“I am pleased that with David’s appointment we have a seasoned business professional, with a strong leadership track record and an understanding of the dynamics and opportunities of the education sector, gained from his time working at Navitas,” Ms Horton said.

Mr Buckingham, former CEO of iiNet Limited, will commence as the Group CEO from 1 March 2018, according to Navitas.

Mr Jones, Navitas’s co-founder and group CEO since 2004, is expected to continue as managing director until 30 June 2018 before Mr Buckingham assumes the role of managing director and group CEO.

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