Xerox CEO Anne Mulcahy to Step DownPosted 2009-05-21 Email Print
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One of the most powerful and well-known female executives in the technology industry will retire July 1, paving the way for her successor, Ursula Brown.
Xerox CEO Anne Mulcahy, one of the longest-tenured and most powerful female chief executives in the technology industry, is retiring from her post in July, according to the company.
Mulcahy will be succeeded by Ursula Burns, who is currently president at Xerox. In the meantime, Mulcahy will remain on as chairman of Xerox’s board.
Mulcahy, chief executive since 2001, is largely credited with leading a multibillion-dollar turnaround of the printing and imaging giant, which was faltering badly at the time she took the helm. Her hallmarks? She focused heavily on face-to-face customer and partner interaction and went full-speed ahead on innovation, bumping up the R&D spending for the company even as she labored to get budgets under control.
"[Anne] has consistently demonstrated values-based leadership, strong strategic insight, broad expertise and a remarkable ability to create 'followership’ through the respect she earned from Xerox people," said N.J. Nicholas Jr., lead independent director of Xerox’s board, in a prepared statement.
Mulcahy served 33 years at Xerox, in myriad capacities from sales to CFO. During her tenure as CEO, the company overhauled its entire product line, launching more than 80 products in the last three years. She also scaled the Xerox Global Services operation, which last year generated $3.5 billion in revenue.
And yet, like much of the tech sector and all of printing and imaging, Xerox has suffered financially during the down economy. The company recently forecast a weaker-than-expected second-quarter profit and cut its full-year profit outlook nearly in half as its customers delay purchasing printing equipment and supplies. Despite the weak forecast, analysts said they were encouraged by Xerox's plan to cut costs and pay down $1 billion in debt this year, and its solid cash flow.
Burns has been with Xerox since 1980 in roles spanning engineering and operations. She has been president since April 2007.