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Mulcahy traces steps of Xerox

Mulcahy traces steps of Xerox - Mulcahy traces steps of...

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Mulcahy traces steps of Xerox's comeback Anne Mulcahy gets credit for saving Xerox (XRX) from almost certain death. She was a last-ditch choice for CEO in 2000. The company had $19 billion in debt and almost no cash. It announced its first loss, revenue was falling by double digits, the stock price had been halved and the Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating its books for possible fraud. Mulcahy steadied the company, cut one-third of the workforce and invested in new technologies, all while embracing rather than dismantling Xerox's long-standing corporate culture. Xerox is growing again, the stock price has quadrupled on her watch, and this month, Forbes named Mulcahy the fifth-most-powerful woman in the world . Mulcahy was interviewed by USA TODAY's Kevin Maney at the third USA TODAY CEO Forum — this one in conjunction with the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. The interview took place in front of a live audience. These are edited transcripts. Q: Did someone notice you and start moving you up in management? A: What I tell people at Xerox and other companies all the time is that it should never be a person. It should be a series of relationships . You should be accumulating really great relationships throughout your career . I enjoyed what I did, and over a lot of years, you start building up a cadre of people that actually want to see you succeed — and it helps a great deal. Q: How did you learn management? A: I learned how to be a learner. When you get in a job, the tendency is to say, "I've got to know it. I've got to give direction to others. I'm in this job because I'm better and smarter." I always took a different view, that the key was to identify the people who really knew and learn from them. That's what kept me alive for the last six years . Q: In 2000, the CEO, Rick Thoman, left. The chairman, Paul Allaire, calls you into his office. A: Paul Allaire came back in as chairman, and he believed the company had to be led in a way that really brought the people with them. I was leaving for Tokyo and had my bags packed, and he called me in and said, "Here's the deal. Rick's out. I'm coming back in as CEO, and I want you to be president and COO of Xerox, and a year later, if things are right, you'll be CEO of Xerox." He said, "But we got a lot to do, and it's a big deal, and I just met with the board, and so you've got to make a decision." And I asked him for one day. I felt this huge accountability for Xerox, but, personally, it was gonna change my life in ways that I was not prepared for. I was kind of on the back nine from my perspective, so it was going to be a major life change. I needed to discuss it with my family. The next day, I said yes.
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Q: Did you see it coming at all?
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Mulcahy traces steps of Xerox - Mulcahy traces steps of...

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