May 11, 2016 – Caldwell Partners has recruited Carl Sparks as chief executive officer of Dallas-headquartered Academic Partnerships. Mercedes Chatfield-Taylor, head of Caldwell Partners’ private equity and venture capital recruiting practice, led the search.
Mr. Sparks is the former president and CEO of online travel company Travelocity. Previously, he was president of Gilt.com, general manager of Hotels.com, and chief marketing officer and senior vice president of marketing at Expedia. He is a member of the board of directors of Vonage, Dunkin Donuts and ActionIQ.
“Carl has been a friend of AP for more than a year, and we are proud to have him assume leadership of our organization,” said Randy Best, Academic Partnerships founder. “His exceptional background and experience that combines technology, marketing and innovation will immediately benefit AP partner universities as they seek to rapidly expand their marketshare. I am looking forward to supporting Carl as he takes AP to the next level and maximizes its potential.”
“I am a huge believer in higher education as a transformative force that changes peoples’ lives and societies as a whole,” said Mr. Sparks. “I look forward to being part of a transformation in an industry that embraces innovation for all the right societal reasons.”
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Academic Partnerships is a leading online service provider for higher education globally. The company assists universities in converting their on-campus degree programs into an online format, recruits qualified students for those programs, and supports enrolled students through graduation.
Ms. Chatfield-Taylor, who is also a member of Caldwell’s technology, consumer digital and media teams, focuses on executive level search assignments for high growth technology companies with expertise in software as a service, internet, e-commerce, gaming and other consumer technology. She has completed over 50 CEO searches as well as other CXO level assignments for her clients; she has also filled CEO roles for online media company Manta Media, Inc. and software provider Innography.
Caldwell Partners’ CEO and board practice has executed hundreds of recruitment assignments for a wide spectrum of organizations serving the community, academic and business sectors. Over the past year, Caldwell has recruited the CEO for Surgical Specialties Corporation, filled a board position for therapeutic target discovery company AbVitro, Inc., and tapped the CEO for Salt Lake City-based Global Access.
In April, Caldwell Partners posted second quarter revenues of $14.3 million (Canadian), a 20 percent jump from revenues of $11.9 million a year ago. Revenue in the U.S. for the quarter rose nearly 40 percent, while Canadian revenues dropped 27 percent.
“We saw absolute revenue growth of 27.5 percent in the past quarter, with 6.5 percent of that gain coming from an equity monetization from search services. Including the equity monetization, on a constant currency basis our professional fees were up 14 percent,” said chief executive John N. Wallace.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media