Ursula M. Burns is chairman and chief executive officer of Xerox (NYSE: XRX), the world's leading enterprise for business process and document management.
When Burns joined Xerox in 1980 as a mechanical engineering summer intern, the company was the leader in the global photocopying market. As she later assumed roles in product development and planning, the company was securing its leadership position in digital document technologies. From 1992 through 2000, Burns, at a pivotal point in the company's history, led several business teams including the company's color business and office network printing business.
In 2000, Burns was named senior vice president, Corporate Strategic Services, heading up manufacturing and supply chain operations. Alongside then-CEO Anne Mulcahy, Burns worked to restructure Xerox through its turnaround to emerge as a leader in color technology and document services. A key factor in the company's turnaround was its research and development of new products and technologies, and at the time Burns was responsible for leading Xerox's global research as well as product development, marketing and delivery. In April 2007, Burns was named president of Xerox, expanding her leadership to also include the company's IT organization, corporate strategy, human resources, corporate marketing and global accounts. At that time, she was also elected a member of the company's Board of Directors.
Burns was named chief executive officer in July 2009 and shortly after, made the largest acquisition in Xerox history, the $6.4 billion purchase of Affiliated Computer Services, catapulting the company's presence in the almost $600 billion business services market and extending the company's reach into diverse areas of business process and IT outsourcing. Xerox is on track to have two-thirds its revenue come from Services by 2017.
On May 20, 2010, Burns became chairman of the company, leading the more than 140,000 people of Xerox who serve clients in more than 180 countries. Building on Xerox's legacy of innovation, they're enabling workplaces — from small businesses to large global enterprises — to simplify the way work gets done so they can focus more on their core business.
Burns earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Polytechnic Institute of NYU and a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Columbia University.
In addition to the Xerox board, she is a board director of the American Express Corporation, Exxon Mobil Corporation and the Ford Foundation. In June 2015, U.S. President Barack Obama appointed Burns chair of the President's Export Council. Burns was previously vice chair of the President’s Export Council, appointed March 2010. Burns also provides leadership counsel to community, educational and non-profit organizations including FIRST - (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), National Academy Foundation, MIT, and the U.S. Olympic Committee, among others. She is a founding board director of Change the Equation, which focuses on improving the U.S.’s education system in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).