Mulcahy to step down as Xerox chairman

Anne Mulcahy, a long-time employee and executive at Xerox, will step down as chairman and leave the company’s board on May 20, Xerox announced Tuesday.

Mulcahy, who also served as CEO of Xerox from August 2001 through June 2009, is widely credited with turning around Xerox from near bankruptcy when she took over as CEO. She cut about 28,000 jobs from the company and sold off part of Fuji Xerox in order to keep the company afloat.

When she took over as CEO, Mulcahy also reached a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over lingering questions about the company’s past accounting practices.

Xerox CEO Ursula Burn will assume the additional role of chairman when Mulcahy leaves.

“Leaving Xerox is not easy, but the time is right,” Mulcahy said in a statement. “This decision is made infinitely easier by the knowledge that I turn the company over to a gifted leader at a point when our strategy is sound, our financial position is strong, and our opportunities for growth are considerable.”

Mulcahy, 57, began working at Xerox as a field sales representative in 1976 and was promoted several times. From 1992 through 1995, she served the company as vice president for human resources. She later served as vice president and staff officer for customer operations in South America and Central America, Europe, Asia and Africa, and China.

She was appointed chief staff officer in 1997 and corporate senior vice president in 1998.

Mulcahy “prioritized investments in innovation, shifted our strategy to become more focused on services, and significantly improved our financial health,” Burn said in a statement. “As a result, we have a strong foundation from which to build an even stronger company.”