Jones, who co-founded Navitas and served as group chief executive since it listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2004, said he believed it was the right time to step aside as the company continues its expansion process.
“Quite frankly, I’m over tech. I’m excited about what this business does for students and our partners”
“We’re about ready to launch into [our next stage of growth],” he told The PIE News.
“You can do it for a couple of years and bring someone else in, or you say at this point it’s better to bring someone in from the beginning and let them sit on the next part of the journey.”
Navitas chairman Tracey Horton said the board was pleased with the announcement of Buckingham’s appointment, saying the move meant the company had “a seasoned business professional, with a strong leadership track record and an understanding of the dynamics and opportunities of the education sector.”
Horton added the board was keen to retain Jones’ expertise, and that a transition period had begun, with Jones expected to step down from chief executive to managing director in March 2018, before vacating that position and assuming non-executive director responsibilities on Navitas’ board at the end of 2018.
Buckingham, whose selection came after a lengthy internal and external search, will subsequently assume both the chief executive and managing director roles.
He told The PIE that while new to the education industry – his past experience includes leadership roles within technology, finance, and media companies – he was already enjoying the change.
“Quite frankly, I’m over tech. I’m more excited about what this business does for people and students and our partners,” he said.
“It’s an absolute delight to deal with people who get out of bed every morning and run to work to help kids learn everything they can about the world. It does transform lives.”
Navitas, which was founded in Australia, has seen significant growth abroad in the UK and North America over the past few years and has expectations to expand to Asia in the future.