Recorded July 8, 2021.
When Ursula Burns was appointed CEO of the Xerox Corporation in 2009 she made global headlines as the first black woman in history to hold that position at a Fortune 500 company – but Ursula is more than just a footnote in history. Her leadership successfully turned a company, once known just for photocopying, into a thriving and profitable business by cutting millions to save the company from bankruptcy, while simultaneously making a bold $6 billion acquisition to secure the company’s future. Ursula stepped down from her role as CEO in 2016 after the company split into two public companies: Conduent, a $7 billion business process outsourcing company within a tax-free structure, and the new Xerox, an $11 billion standalone company focused on document technology for which she was named chairwoman.
Raised in tenement housing by a single mother whose highest annual income was $4,400, Ursula’s inspirational story is one of perseverance, determination and surpassing expectations. In this engaging session, Ursula talks candidly about the obstacles and challenges she overcame as she rose through the ranks of the business world, as told his her new autobiography Where You Are Is Not Who You Are: A Memoir, while offering a unique perspective on the current and future state of corporate America.
About Ursula Burns
Ursula M. Burns is an American businesswoman. She is currently Senior Advisor of Teneo Ltd and serves on the Board of Directors of Uber, Exxon Mobil, Nestle, Waystar and IHS Holdings. She also serves on the Board of the Ford Foundation, Mayo Clinic and MIT as well as other non-profit organizations. She was the Chairman of Veon Ltd. from 2017 to 2020 and CEO from 2018 until 2020. She served as CEO of Xerox from 2009 to 2016, and as Chairman from 2010 to 2017. She regularly appeared on Forbes’ and Fortune’s most powerful woman lists. She was a leader of the STEM program of the Obama White House from 2009 to 2016, and Vice Chair of the President’s Export Council from 2010 until 2015 and then Chair of the President’s Export Council from 2015 to 2016. She lives in London and in New York.