All Articles Tagged "ursula burns"
Xerox CEO Ursula Burns, the first black woman to run a major US company, will be featured in the 19th installment of An Evening With…, the PBS interview and fundraiser program. The show will be hosted by PBS journalist Gwen Ifill on April 13 at The Times Center in New York City. The show is presented by The HistoryMakers, which has raised $1 million in sponsorships from this year’s event and $17 million total over its 13 years, according to a press release about the upcoming event. This event launches the series in New York City.
The HistoryMakers preserves the oral history of African Americans in order to create a more inclusive historical record of the United States. HistoryMakers founder Julieanna Richardson said in a statement, “[H]er story allows us to shine a light on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) since she is an engineer by training and we are ending a four year period where we have interviewed 180 of the nation’s top scientists.” She’s also the first “female corporate leader” that the event has featured. The resulting 1 1/2 hour interview will air nationwide on PBS.
Burns became CEO of Xerox in 2009 and, shortly after, made the largest acquisition in the history of the company — the $6.4 billion purchase of Affiliated Computer Services. She started as an intern with the company in 1980.
Calling: Madame Chairperson and CEO
Why we’re saluting her:
Ursula Burns is the first African-American woman CEO to head a Fortune 500 company and a true example that one can work their way from the bottom to the top.
Burns, the daughter of Panamanian immigrants, grew up in New York City projects, raised by a single mother. After attending a Catholic all-girls school on the eastside, Burns went on to obtain a bachelor of science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Polytechnic Institute of NYU in 1980 and a master of science in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University a year later.
After graduating from the Polytechnic Institute, Burns worked for Xerox as a summer intern and a year later she permanently joined the company after completing her master’s degree. Throughout the ’80s, Burns worked in various roles in product development and planning but then in 1990, a senior executive offered her a position as an executive assistant. Though Burns initially feared the position would be a dead-end job, it turned out to be a role that allowed her to quickly rise through the ranks of the company. Just one year later, Burns became executive assistant to then chairman and chief executive Paul Allaire, and by 1999, she was named vice president for global manufacturing.
In 2000, Burns became a senior vice president at Xerox and in this role she began working closely with soon to be CEO Anne Mulcahy. Nine years later, Burns ended up succeeding Mulcahy as CEO in July 2009.
Three years into her role as CEO, Burns used her position to speak out against Augusta National Golf Club’s male-only membership policy, saying that if they didn’t start accepting women, Xerox wouldn’t sponsor the Masters on her watch. In August 2012, the club opened its membership to women for the first time in 80 years. That same year, Burns made Forbes Most Powerful Women in the World list, ranking at number 17. And for her hard work, determination, and ability to build herself from summer intern to Chief Executive Officer, we salute Ursula Burns.
In the corporate world, there still are very few African-American women who rise to the position of CEO. In fact, at the Fortune 500 firms while there are currently six black CEOs, only one of them is a woman. Here is a look at African-American female CEOs — past and present — of some of the country’s major companies and organizations.
Will the Commerce Department be lead by a black woman?
Xerox chairwoman Ursula Burns is rumored to be a potential nominee for the job of Commerce Secretary. This would make her the first black woman and only the second woman to ever hold the position of Commerce Secretary.
Burns is already a sitting member of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, Bloomberg reports, and has consulted the President on economic matters. (The story also says Amex CEO Kenneth Chenault could be a candidate to replace Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.) President Obama said during the election — when business know-how became an important character trait for the candidates — that the cabinet needs a “secretary of business.”
She spent three decades working her way up the ladder at Xerox from intern in 1980 to making history as the first African-American woman to be named CEO of a Fortune 500 company in 2009. And she was the first woman to replace another woman as CEO of a company.
As you can figure she has had many naysayers. In an interview with Black Enterprise magazine in 1997 she said, “The fact that I did it faster than others has nothing to do with my race and gender. It was my performance.”
Karen Arena, a Xerox spokeswoman, said Burns “has no plans to leave her leadership position at Xerox.” With no confirmation from the White House and that statement from Arena, we’ll have to wait and see if history is made again by Ursula Burns.
It’s that time of the year again where Forbes starts rolling out list after list after list. We already found out who the highest-paid celebrities under 30 are and the celebrity couples bringing in the most cash, now we have the list of the 100 Most Powerful Women in the World — and 10 of them are black women who are making their mark across the globe.
From expected entertainers, business women, and political leaders in the US and abroad, here are the 10 black women who run the world:
#7 Michelle Obama
#17 Ursula Burns, Chaiman and CEO, Xerox
#50 Rosalind Brewer, President and CEO, Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart Stores
#52 Helene Gayle, President, CEO, CARE
#69 Etharian Cousin, Executive Director, World Food Programme, United Nations
#71 Joyce Banda, President, Malawi
#81 Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance, Nigeria
#82 Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President, Liberia
Do you think Forbes missed anyone?
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By Jenée Desmond-Harris
These 20 black female business leaders have all shared the same title: chief executive officer. But they’re also known as mentors, philanthropists and role models with business savvy and ambition that transcend race and gender. During Women’s History Month, we took a look at their career trajectories and history-making successes.
She started off paying her dues as a summer intern with Xerox in 1980. By the looks of her career trajectory, she hasn’t stopped working hard since. In 2007 Burnsbecame president of the company, and in 2009 she was named CEO. She didn’t waste any time before making the largest acquisition in Xerox history and accepting an invitation from Barack Obama to chair the President’s Export Council.
With a production capacity of 7.8 million tons annually, ArcelorMittal South Africa is the biggest steel producer on the African continent, and CEO Nyembezi-Heita has overseen it all since taking on her leadership role with the company in 2008. Her master’s degrees in business administration and science give her the tools to keep the mining giant going in a tough economy, and her extensive business background — including a previous role as chief officer of mergers and acquisitions for the Vodacom Group — probably doesn’t hurt, either.
Check out these phenomenal women and their accomplishments at The Root.com.
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(Wall Street Journal) — For Xerox Corp. Chief Executive Ursula Burns, the future of the venerable printer and photo-copy machine maker isn’t in making copies. Ms. Burns has spent the nearly two years since she took on the CEO role trying transform Xerox into a services-based business, as the rise of digital technology has cut into the company’s traditional hardware line. In three years, two-thirds of company revenue will likely come from “services,” or contracts to manage other companies’ back office operations such as printing, human-resources and other areas of their business, she says. The cornerstone of Ms. Burns’s strategy, Xerox’s 2010 acquisition of Dallas-based services company Affiliated Computer Services for $6.4 billion, was initially criticized by shareholders and industry observers for being too costly in the midst of a recession and too large—ACS had 74,000 employees to Xerox’s 54,000 at the time.
By Brittany Hutson and R. Asmerom
It’s certainly been a whirlwind decade for the Black community to say the least. We’ve witnessed history making moments, events that brought to light the struggles that still plague our community, devastating natural disasters, and moments that caused us to scratch our head, raise an eyebrow and think ‘what the…?’ Take a stroll down memory lane with us as we recap some of those moments:
One of the five deadliest hurricanes in the history of the U.S., Katrina caused devastation when it hit the Gulf Coast states (from Florida to Texas) in August 2005. New Orleans bore the brunt of the devastation as the category 3 storm with maximum winds near 125 mph caused the levies to break and flood nearly 80% of the city. The nation was in utter shock as images filtered across television screens, on websites and in publications of residents stranded on the roof of flooded homes, or in boats, waiting for help without water or food.
Katrina caused the deaths of at least 1,836 people and caused immense damage—early estimates of total property damage were $81 billion. Over one million people were displaced and sought solace in cities such as Houston, TX, Mobile, Ala, Baton Rouge, La, and Chicago. Federal, state and local governments were criticized for their mismanagement and delayed response to the storm.
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The Fortune annual ranking of leading businesswomen for 2010 has been released and includes at least 4 women of African-American descent. The current list was published on the CNN Money website earlier this week.
Individually and collectively, the fabulous 4 are responsible for handling billons in company revenues and have the daunting task of building and sustaining world-famous brands. These women ranked in the overall list at very respectable positions – out of 50 women, they placed at number 6, 9, 33 and 35.
It is not surprising that Oprah Winfrey is on the list. However, as the most widely recognized African American female listed, it is notable that she is the only entrepreneur. Her placement on the list at number 6 is a tribute to the personal struggles she has had to overcome in her personal life, and the growth of her HARPO and newly developed Oprah Winfrey Network. Oprah’s listing contains the greatest amount of personal information, including that she was raised by a single teen mother, was raped in her childhood and gave birth to a son of her own that died in infancy. No matter how many times we hear Oprah’s story, it remains fresh and relevant in our community. Ms. Winfrey’s revenues are not disclosed on the list. Regardless, the dollar amount would pale in comparison to the number of lives she has saved.
The number 9 spot on the Fortune list is occupied by Ursula Burns, Chairwoman and CEO of Xerox. Ms. Burns elevated herself through the ranks of the Xerox corporation from being an intern, to becoming the Chairwoman and CEO of a now global brand. In May, Ms. Burns landed a deal with Affiliated Computer Services, making Xerox the world’s largest business process and document management firm. She became the Chairwoman of the company this past May, and also sits on the board of American Express, another global brand. Ms. Burns is credited with handling $22 billion in renevue.
New to the list is Ms. Lina Gooden, raking at number 33, in her position as EVP, Information Systems and Global Solutions at Lockheed Martin. The company is the largest information technology provider to the U.S. government. In 2009, Ms. Gooden produced $12 billion in revenue which accounts for almost 27% of the company’s total revenue.
Another newcomer to the list in the number 35 spot is Ms. Rosalind Brewer, President of Walmart South. Ms. Brewer was previously a scientist at Kimberly-Clark and had gone from oversight of Wal-Mart’s operations in Georgia to the Southwest region to the entire South. According to Wikipedia, Wal-Mart is the world’s largest retailer. The revenue in her territory is $85 billion plus.
It is remarkable that 2 newcomers placed on the list. Each and every position deserves our respect and a “high 5” or a fist –bump if you want to aim for the stars.
Candi Sparks is the author of the “Can I Have Some Money?” books series.
(AOL Black Voices) — Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox sang ‘Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves’ way back in the ’80s, and this piece of pop wisdom is holding true for ladies in the new millenium. The Huffington Post just released a list of the Top Ten CEOs who came up from nothing to make it into the realms of the über-rich — and the extremely powerful. And, it is quite an achievement that two of the ten featured are African American women. Oprah Winfrey and the relatively new CEO of Xerox, Ursula Burns, are prominent members of the club of “rags-to-riches” CEOs: