When Ursula M. Burns became the CEO of Xerox she crossed two milestones says this article in the New York Times. Firstly, since she succeeded Anne M. Mulcahy as the CEO, it was a rare case of a woman taking over the highest position in an organization of this size from another woman. Xerox has over 130,00 employees world-wide and has a history of over a hundred years. Founded way back in 1906, Xerox has revenues of over $ 22 billion.
Secondly, she became the first African-American woman to become the CEO of an organization of this size. She joined Xerox as an intern in 1980 and has spent all her working life at Xerox.
Ms. Burns had her early childhood in the tough neighborhood of the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The tributes she pays to her mother and the anecdotes about this person who was the major influence in her life are truly moving. How effective Ms. Burns will be as the CEO of Xerox remains to be seen but she will be influenced by what she learnt from her Mom.
Her mother didn’t live to see her become the CEO of Xerox but would now be extremely proud of her daughter.