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May 23, 2017

Delta Insights on Leadership Featuring Chairman and Former CEO of Xerox (2009-2016), Ursula Burns

Metro Atlanta CEO Leaders

During our most recent Delta Insights on Leadership conversation, we had the honor of sitting down with chairman and former CEO of Xerox (2009-2016), Ursula Burns. Ursula was the first African-American woman to head a FORTUNE 500 company. She stepped into the CEO role at Xerox when the world was shifting away from print into a new digital age and helped transform it into the current, innovative company that she’s a part of today. During this session, we covered her time at Xerox and touched on key influences that helped enhance her position as a leader and trailblazer.

With many companies moving their digital hubs to Atlanta, Xerox continues to innovate.

  • “Over the past 10 years, Xerox basically disrupted itself. The company is a blue-collar company, and we work and do real things.”
  • “From the top to the bottom, everyone carries their own bags.”

There is a history of women in leadership and diversity at Xerox.

  • “Diversity at Xerox was not me; it was the work of a lot of people before I came on.”
  • “I got my first job because a group in the company thought hiring different kinds of people was a good thing.”
  • “Our affirmative action was about opportunity.”

Ursula started with Xerox in 1980 as an intern and had an interesting path to CEO.

  • “I was fortunate enough to walk into the perfect company at the perfect time.”
  • “When I came on, I said we’re going to stop being nice to each other; we’re going to be like a real family.”

Ursula was raised in the lower east side of Manhattan by a single mother who played an integral role in her life.

  • “I literally had a miraculous mother, but she was not a saint.”
  • “Your success is going to be measured by what you leave behind, not by what you take away.”
  • “It’s not where you are; it’s who you are.”
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