On July 1, 2009, Ursula Burns became the first black woman to head a Fortune 500 company. With her departure as CEO of Xerox, there will be no black female heading a Fortune 500 company. Only 15 black executives have ever made it to the Chairman or CEO position of a "Fortune 500" listed company. Of these 15 executives, only 4 will remain after Ms. Burns steps down.
Ms. Burns will serve as chairman of the board of the post-separation Document Technology company following the completion of the separation of Xerox into two independent, publicly-traded companies.
“Ursula’s deep industry experience and relationships along with her proven leadership skills will be valuable assets for the Document Technology company and will help ensure a smooth transition to a new management team,” said Ann Reese, Xerox’s lead independent director.
Ms. Burns will continue in her current role as chairman and chief executive officer of Xerox until the separation.
“I am looking forward to my role as chairman of the Document Technology company and to continuing my deep personal and professional commitment to its success,” Burns said. “I remain focused, however, on ensuring Xerox and the post-separation companies are positioned to build on our strong heritage and capture new opportunities we have identified to create value for employees, customers and shareholders.”
Ms. Burns, joined Xerox as an intern in 1980 and stayed with the company for her entire career.