"As I've progressed in my career, I've come to appreciate — and really value — the other attributes that define a company's success beyond the P&L: great leadership, long-term financial strength, ethical business practices, evolving business strategies, sound governance, powerful brands, values-based decision-making." - Ursula Burns, Chairman and CEO
When Burns joined Xerox in 1980 as a mechanical engineering summer intern, the company was the leader in the global photocopying market. As she later assumed roles in product development and planning, the company was securing its leadership position in digital document technologies. From 1992 through 2000, Burns, at a pivotal point in the company's history, led several business teams including the company's color business and office network printing business.
In 2000, Burns was named senior vice president, Corporate Strategic Services, heading up manufacturing and supply chain operations. Alongside then-CEO Anne Mulcahy, Burns worked to restructure Xerox through its turnaround to emerge as a leader in color technology and document services. A key factor in the company's turnaround was its research and development of new products and technologies, and at the time Burns was responsible for leading Xerox's global research as well as product development, marketing and delivery. In April 2007, Burns was named president of Xerox, expanding her leadership to also include the company's IT organization, corporate strategy, human resources, corporate marketing and global accounts. At that time, she was also elected a member of the company's Board of Directors.
Burns was named chief executive officer in July 2009 and shortly after, made the largest acquisition in Xerox history, the $6.4 billion purchase of Affiliated Computer Services, catapulting the company's presence in the almost $600 billion business services market and extending the company's reach into diverse areas of business process and IT outsourcing. Xerox is on track to have two-thirds its revenue come from Services by 2017.
On May 20, 2010, Burns became chairman of the company, leading the more than 140,000 people of Xerox who serve clients in more than 180 countries. Building on Xerox's legacy of innovation, they're enabling workplaces — from small businesses to large global enterprises — to simplify the way work gets done so they can focus more on their core business.
Burns earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Polytechnic Institute of NYU and a master of science degree in mechanical engineering from Columbia University.
In addition to the Xerox board, she is a board director of the American Express Corporation, Exxon Mobil Corporation and the Ford Foundation. In June 2015, U.S. President Barack Obama appointed Burns chair of the President's Export Council. Burns was previously vice chair of the President’s Export Council, appointed March 2010. Burns also provides leadership counsel to community, educational and non-profit organizations including FIRST - (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), National Academy Foundation, MIT, and the U.S. Olympic Committee, among others. She is a founding board director of Change the Equation, which focuses on improving the U.S.’s education system in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
Ursula Burns in the News
Forbes, “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women”, 2015 May 26
Rochester D&C, “Xerox posts $19.5 billion in annual revenue”, 2015 May 21
Fast Company, “What Ursula Burns' Rise To Power Can Teach Us About Mentorship”, 2015 March 31
PrintWeek, "Xerox reseller Xeretec has increased its national presence after opening a new London site", 2015, Feb. 16
The National, “Xerox chief wants to see gender gap narrowed”, 2015 Feb. 9
The National, “Xerox looks for Middle East acquisitions in $900m buying binge”, 2015 Feb. 9
ASME.org, “Ursula Burns: From engineer to CEO”, 2014 Nov. 14
PBS News Hour, “How Xerox became a leader in diversity — and why that’s good for business”, 2014 Sept. 15
Les Echos.fr, “Ursula Burns: The future of Xerox is not 3D printing”, 2014 April 7
In interview with French financial daily newspaper Ursula Burns responds to questions about the decline in printing, growth in services and Xerox's approach to 3D printing.
Financial Times, “Reshaping Xerox”, 2014 April 6
Video interview with Ursula Burns discusses how she has led a radical reshaping of Xerox away from its traditional focus on documents hardware to business services.
USA Today, "Engineering a revolution at Xerox”, 2014 March 26
Article looks at Xerox's transformation to becoming a computer services company.
Fortune.com, "Backstage with Xerox CEO Ursula Burns", 24 March 2014
Xerox CEO Ursula Burns explains how Xerox is changing, and why we're changing.
CNBC Squawk Box, 18 March 2014
In a video interview Xerox CEO Ursula Burns explains the company's place as an established leader in document technology and its growing business services presence.
Chicago Tribune, “Lean In stories: Ursula M. Burns on defining who you are”, 2014 Feb. 17
CNBC, 12 Nov. 2013, "Xerox CEO Updates Strategy"
Business Today, "The personality of Xerox is not gender-based, but it is one that enables women", 29 Sept. 2013 Issue
Q&A with Ursula Burns in which she discusses Xerox's transformation to a products and services company and her personal journey.
The Economic Times of India, "Consistency around India is a challenge: Ursula Burns, CEO of Xerox", 30 August 2013
Interview with Ursula Burns during her three-day trip to India, where she held three town hall meetings and met several CEOs of technology firms in Bangalore.
PrintWeek India, "Ursula Burns inaugurates facilities at Xerox research centre in Bengaluru", 30 August 2013
Financial Post, "Taking the Xerox business model out of its box", 19 August 2013 Q&A interview about the rationale and genesis behind Xerox's service push, where Xerox is making strategic investments and how the company will identify the people and processes to make the shift work.
Huffington Post, "9 amazingly successful women who started out as assistants", 13 August 2013
Bloomberg BusinessWeek, "Xerox's Ursula Burns on her career path and changing company strategy", 8 August 2013
MadameNoir, "Ursula Burns, CEO of Xerox, sees the vast possibilities for all women with STEM goals", 18 June 2013
"Xerox CEO Ursula Burns On Women Corporate Leaders: 'There's A Tidal Wave Coming", Huffington Post, 13 June 2013
Ursula received the PRISM award and gave acceptance remarks at award luncheon. The award recognizes outstanding business leaders named by the Advisory Board of the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies Graphic Communications Management and Technology.
"CEO leads Xerox in a new direction with ACS deal", The Dallas Morning News, 4 May 2013
Article discusses how Ursula Burns led Xerox into a new direction with the $6.4bn purchase of Dallas-based Affiliated Computer Services (ACS).
ComputerWorld, "Xerox CEO to CIOs: We'll take your mess and make it beautiful", 18 March 2013
Ursula Burns outlines Xerox's widening portfolio of IT, business process and document outsourcing services.
"Q&A with Ursula Burns", MIT Technology Review, 20 February 2013
Q&A with Ursula Burns on Xerox's transformation from dominating "the office of yesterday" to strengthening the company's role for "the offices of tomorrow." Xerox was named to MIT Tech Review's 2013 List of 50 Disruptive Companies.
Innosight, Dec. 2012
"CEO Strategy: Charting 'Dual Transformation' at Xerox and Barnes & Noble"
"Xerox eyes privatization as source for regional revenues", Jamaica Observer, 21 Dec. 2012
Ursula Burns says Xerox revenues could climb in Latin America and the Caribbean as governments privatize services.
Fast Company, 6 Nov. 2012
Xerox's Ursula Burns Discusses Innovation With Fast Company
"50 Most Powerful Women in Business", Fortune, 8 Oct. 2012
Ursula Burns No. 7 on Fortune's list.
"Xerox C.E.O. on the company's ‘earth-shattering transformation", New York Times Bits, 2 Oct. 2012
Ursula Burns discusses the "earth shattering" transformation Xerox has gone through to move from selling copiers to a more service-based company that helps firms handle business processes.
"The 100 women who run the world", Forbes, 22 Aug. 2012
Ursula Burns No. 17 featured on Forbes list.
"Engineering her way to the top: Ursula Burns blazes the trail at Xerox", AllVoices.com, 22 July 2012
Profile of Ursula Burns and her path to becoming CEO of Xerox.
"Xerox eyes tuck-in acquisitions to foster growth", Reuters, 14 June 2012
Ursula Burns spoke to Reuters staff at Global Media Summit in New York.
"Growth of outsourcing simplifies transportation operations", ITS International, May 2012
In conjunction with talk at the 2012 ITS America Annual Meeting, Ursula talks with ITS International about Xerox's new role in the intelligent transportation sector.
"Xerox CEO: 'If you don't transform, you're stuck'", NPR, 23 May 2012
In an interview with NPR's Renee Montagne, Ursula Burns talks about her career at Xerox, how being a black woman affected her ascent and her role as a leader of the iconic brand that is Xerox. Ursula also discusses Xerox's main goals, its transformation and where she is looking steer the company going forward.
"Xerox CEO on taking risks", CNBC, 22 May 2012
In a video interview with Maria Bartiromo, Ursula Burns discusses a number of topics including state of Xerox's business globally, company shares, her take on the fiscal cliff and Facebook's IPO.
"Words From the Top",The Wall Street Journal, 17 May 2012
Ursula Burns was featured with several other women CEOs of Fortune 500 companies discussing how they got to where they are and the myths about advancement they saw along the way.
"Meet Fortune 500's female powerbrokers", CNN, 8 May 2012
"Career advice from Fortune 500's women CEOs", Fortune, 7 May 2012
"Burns says Xerox will compete for health exchange contracts", Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, 17 April 2012
Ursula says Xerox is looking to win contracts to build and manage technology for online insurance marketplaces being set up under the U.S. health care overhaul.
"Sea of change at Xerox", Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, 8 April 2012
Xerox CEO Ursula Burns details the services led, technology driven strategy of today's Xerox in an extensive cover-story interview including on-line video.
"The 9 Most Influential Women In Tech, Ranked By PeekYou", The Huffington Post, 5 April 2012
"Xerox CEO Burns on the rising value of reputation", Fortune.com (blog) 6 March 2012
Ursula Burns discusses the importance of corporate reputation
"Fresh Copy: How Ursula Burns Reinvented Xerox", Fast Company December 2011 / January 2012 Issue
Fast Company magazine features Ursula Burns and how her life experience, style, and passion for Xerox shaped the transformation of the company.
"Game changer in business and tech: Ursula Burns", Huffington Post 1 November 2011
Huffington Post video profiles Xerox CEO's success in steering Xerox. Ursula Burns explains why Xerox and ACS make a good fit.
"Xerox's Burns on U.S. Economy", Bloomberg 30 September 2011
Ursula Burns speaking on Bloomberg Television's "Conversations With Judy Woodruff," talks about the outlooks for the U.S. economy and Xerox's growth, President Barack Obama's jobs program and U.S. energy policy.
"Xerox CEO's career advice: Listen to your mom", Fortune 16 August 2011
Fortune Postcards blog features a Patricia Sellers' interview with Ursula Burns along with video.
"Xerox PARC: Still Inventing Cool New Stuff After All These Years", Forbes.com, 2011 July 1
"Why You Should Care About Xerox", CRN 20 May 2011
Xerox CEO Ursula Burns talks about the new Xerox and her vision for channel partners, including the company's evolving service offerings and how strategic partnerships are providing more value to VARs
"Beyond the copy: Xerox CEO keeps focus on the business process", NPR Marketplace Interview, 18 May 2011
"Leave behind more than you take", CNNMoney.com, 12 May 2011
"The U.S. is becoming a 'server nation", CCNNMoney.com, 12 May 2011
"Xerox CEO: Our schools lost focus", CNNMoney.com, 12 May 2011
"Xerox CEO on U.S. Education", Bloomberg Television's "Street Smart", 29 April 2011
2015 Commencement keynote at Williams College
2015 Commencement keynote at Howard University (keynote begins at 1:17)
2015 Fireside Chat session at Duke University, The Fuqua School of Business Distinguished Speaker Series
2015 CEO panel session with Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf at SIEPR Summit
2015 Keynote at Cleveland Clinic’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Celebration event
Keynote at Xerox’s 2015 simple@work event held in London
Keynote panel session at Xerox’s 2015 simple@work event held in London
RPI Commencement President's 2013 Colloquy
2013 panel session at Corporate Philanthropy’s 8th Annual Board of Boards CEO Conference
2013 Wake Forest University School of Business Leadership Speaker Series
2013 UCLA Anderson School of Management Dean’s Distinguished Speaker Series Lecture
Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit
Oct. 17, 2013 - Xerox CEO tackles the work-life balance debate.
History Makers PBS-TV Taping "An Evening with Ursula Burns"
Ursula Burns at the 2013 Catalyst Awards Conference
8th Annual Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit
Feb. 28, 2013: Ursula Burns spoke on stage with Caroline Clarke, journalist for Black Enterprise, on her personal journey and leadership.
MAKERS: Women Who Make America
Ursula Burns is featured in a series of video vignettes produced by "MAKERS: Women Who Make America". It tells the stories of how women have changed the landscape of America over the past 50 years. The series includes interviews with 100 trailblazing women. Portions of these interviews are being released throughout the year by AOL on Answers.com, and will be included in a planned PBS program.
Ursula Burns Discusses Innovation With Fast Company
2012 Keynote at ARPA-E Innovation Summit
Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit
Oct. 2, 2012 – Xerox Chairman & CEO Ursula Burns talks about how important it is to speak the truth.
Xerox CEO On-stage at ITS America's 22nd Annual Meeting
Ursula Burns spoke in 2012 at the Opening Plenary with Dr. Peter Sweatman, Director of University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute, and gave her views on the expansive intelligent transportation industry in America. Ursula said, "Intelligence is about safety and sustainability. It is most significantly about the transportation systems and the users of that system and creating efficient ways for people to go about their lives."
Commencement address at Columbia University's Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science's Class Day
Ursula addressed more than 800 students and families at Columbia Engineering's Class Day on May 14.
Commencement address at Xavier's 85th annual graduation ceremony
Ursula addressed 550 undergraduate, graduate and pre-professional students and their families, and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Business degree on May 12.
Xerox Press Conference at drupa 2012
Leadership highlights from Ursula Burns at the Xerox press conference at drupa 2012 - the world's largest print tradeshow. Moderated interview session with Katie Ledger, former BBC reporter.
Gallatin Business Club
CES 2012 "Innovation Power Panel"
Q&A with Ursula, Ford's CEO and Verizon.
Economic Club of Washington
Ursula discusses that leaders and policy makers in all sectors have become too satisfied with the status quo. Rather than focus on what can't be done, we all need to exhibit a lot more impatience with "what is" and passion for "what might be."
London Business School's Business Leader Series
Q&A with Ursula on career, leadership and transformation
Cleveland Clinic's Annual Medical Innovation Summit
"Perspectives from the Top of Industry." CEO panel moderated by Maria Bartiromo.
Ursula and George Colony, Chairman & CEO of Forrester Research, have a candid discussion about innovation, the economy, leadership, recent "aha moments," how they're viewing the market, and more.
The Wall Street Journal Viewpoints Breakfast Series
Ursula talks with Alan Murray, deputy managing editor for The Wall Street Journal, about the company's transition from a copier company to a document-services company, working with the Obama administration's Export Council and success
MIT Sloan School of Management Dean's Innovative Leader Series
Ursula speaks on her career and leadership at the Dean's Innovative Leader Series which brings to MIT global leaders from the business world to share their experiences with MIT Sloan students and the broader MIT community.