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Ursula Burns  

First Black Woman to Serve as CEO of A Fortune 500 Company; Former Chairwoman of VEON & Former CEO of Xerox

Ursula Burns is the former chairwoman of VEON, an international telecommunications services provider, a position she held from 2017 to early 2020. She is best known for having served as the Chairman of the Board of the Xerox Corporation from 2010 to 2017 and as its Chief Executive Officer from 2009 to 2016. When she was appointed Xerox's CEO in 2009, she became the first Black woman to serve as CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

She joined Xerox as an intern in 1980 and during her career, she held leadership posts spanning corporate services, manufacturing, and product development.

During her tenure as chief executive officer of Xerox, she helped the company transform from a global leader in document technology to the world’s most diversified business services company serving enterprises and governments of all sizes. Shortly after being named CEO in 2009, she spearheaded the largest acquisition in Xerox history, the $6.4 billion purchase of Affiliated Computer Services.

In 2016, she led Xerox through a successful separation into two independent, publicly-traded companies -- Xerox Corporation, which is comprised of the company’s Document Technology and Document Outsourcing businesses, and Conduent Incorporated, a business process services company. The separation of the two businesses has enhanced their competitive positions and created significant value creation opportunities.

Burns, who regularly appears on Fortune’s and Forbes’ list of the world’s most powerful women, is a board director of Exxon Mobil, Nestlé, and Datto. Former U.S. President Barack Obama appointed Burns to help lead the White House National Program on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) from 2009 to 2016, and she served as chair of the President’s Export Council from 2015 to 2016 after serving as the vice chair from 2010 to 2015.

She also provides leadership counsel to several other community, educational, and non-profit organizations including the Ford Foundation, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Corporation, Cornell Tech Board of Overseers, the New York City Ballet, and the Mayo Clinic. Burns is a member of the National Academy of Engineers and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Ursula holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Columbia University and a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Polytechnic Institute of New York University.

News


Ursula Burns is tired of corporate America making excuses for not ...

Retiring Veon chairman Ursula Burns, the last black woman to have served at the helm of a Fortune 500 company, is fed up with companies making excuses for ...

Ursula Burns to Corporate America: You can undo the system - CNN ...

Former Xerox CEO and the first black woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company, Ursula Burns, says corporations need to diversify their boards and C-suites.

Ursula Burns receives the Billie Jean King Leadership Award I ...

Washington Mystics president Sheila C. Johnson presented former Xerox chairman and CEO Ursula Burns with the prestigious Billie Jean King Leadership  ...

There are now only 3 black Fortune 500 CEOS. Here they are ...

The first was Ursula Burns, who served as CEO of Xerox from 2009 until 2016, and as chairwoman from 2010 to 2017. The second Black woman on the list was  ...

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