Ursula Burns at Xerox Corporation: Breaking the Glass Ceiling

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Case Details:

Case Code : LDEN074
Case Length : 20 Pages
Period : 2000-2011
Pub Date : 2011
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : Xerox Corporation
Industry : Document management
Countries : US, Global

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Introduction cont...

A leading global enterprise for business process and document management, Xerox, headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut, offered document technology, services, software, and supplies for graphic communication and office printing purposes. The company had a broad portfolio of document management systems and software which included printers, multifunction devices, production publishing systems, managed print services, and related software. It also manufactured support and supplies, such as toner, paper, and ink, as part of its document technology offerings. Through Affiliated Computer Services, Inc. (ACS)5 , which Xerox acquired in February 2010, it offered business process and IT

outsourcing services, including data processing, finance support, and customer relationship management services for commercial and government organizations worldwide. As of January 2011, Xerox had 136,000 employees serving clients in more than 160 countries.

Burns joined Xerox in 1980 as a mechanical engineering summer intern and later took on roles in the manufacturing, supply chain, marketing, and research operations. As she rose through the ranks of the company, she moved through the engineering, manufacturing, and various product divisions and led several business teams including the office color and fax business and office network printing business. In July 2009, she was named CEO of the company after two years of serving as President. Burns was also made the company's chairman in May 2010. Burns credited her success to some extent to Xerox's search for diversity in talent. According to her, "I'm in this job because I believe I earned it through hard work and high performance. Did I get some opportunities early in my career because of my race and gender? Probably. ... I went to work for a company that was openly seeking to diversify its workforce. So, I imagine race and gender got the hiring guys' attention. And then the rest was really up to me."6...

Excerpts - Next Page>>

5] The S&P 100 Index is a stock market index of 100 leading US stocks with exchange-listed options. The index is maintained by Standard & Poor's (S&P), a US-based financial services company.
6] Based in Dallas, Texas, ACS is a global leader in Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and IT Outsourcing with operations in over 100 countries. It provides IT services as well as business process outsourcing solutions to businesses, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. ACS's revenues for the year ended December 31, 2009 were US$6.6 billion and they employed 78,000 people.


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