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Ursula Burns
Born September 20, 1958 (1958-09-20) (age 51)
Occupation CEO, Xerox Corporation

Ursula M. Burns (born September 20, 1958) serves as CEO of Xerox. She is the first African-American woman CEO to head a S&P 100 company. She is also the first woman to succeed another woman as head of a S&P 100 company.


Early Life

Burns was raised by a single mother in the Baruch Houses, a New York city housing project [1]. She attended Cathedral High School, a Catholic, all-girls school on East 56th Street in New York. She then 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.

Career at Xerox

Burns first worked for Xerox in 1980 as a summer intern and joined a year later after her master's degree. She worked in various roles in product development and planning throughout her 20s. Her career took an unexpected turn when in January 1990 Wayland Hicks, then a senior executive, offered her a job as his executive assistant. Initially fearing that this would be a dead-end job, she accepted and rose through the ranks becoming executive assistant to then chairman and chief executive, Paul Allaire in June 1991 and eventually becoming vice president for global manufacturing in 1999. In 2000 she was named a senior vice president and began working closely with soon to be CEO Anne Mulcahy in what both women describe as a true partnership. She was named CEO in July 2009 succeeding Mulcahy who remains as chairwoman [2].

Community activities

Burns serves on numerous professional and community boards, including American Express, Boston Scientific, FIRST, National Association of Manufacturers, University of Rochester, the MIT Corporation, the Rochester Business Alliance and the RUMP Group.

Personal Life

Burns married Lloyd Bean in October 1988. She resides in Rochester, New York City and Bermuda. She has a daughter and son.[3]


External links

Business positions
Preceded by
Anne M. Mulcahy
President of Xerox Corporation
April 3, 2007 – July 1, 2009
Preceded by
Anne M. Mulcahy
CEO of Xerox Corporation
July 1, 2009 – present


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