Tech Industry

Xerox forms new Internet business unit

The giant copier maker announces it is forming a new division--the Internet Business Group--to speed up the company's Web-based projects and harness the value of its Internet-related technologies.

Xerox, the giant copier maker, today announced it is forming a new division--the Internet Business Group--to speed up the company's Web-based projects and to harness the value of its Internet-related technologies.

The move comes after the company recently warned that its fourth-quarter profit could be as much as 40 percent below analysts' estimates, in the face of intense competition and reorganization issues.

Other major old-time technology companies that lagged behind this decade have fired up Internet strategies to break out of their doldrums. Hewlett-Packard jump-started itself by mapping out an e-services plan earlier this year and just this month set up a new organization to sign business deals to boost its Internet presence.

Xerox tapped insider Michael Miron as president of the new organization.

Shares of Xerox rose 1.73 percent or 0.38 points to 22.06. The stock has hovered around its 52-week low of 19.75. It hit a high of 63.94 during the past 52 weeks.

"The Internet Business Group will amplify our key existing Internet activities and develop new e-business and e-service opportunities," Rick Thoman, chief executive of Xerox, said in a statement. "It will also move swiftly to leverage Internet-related research within Xerox technology centers worldwide."

The group plans to raise outside capital in the hopes of creating greater shareholder value.

It also plans to enhance Xerox's Web site to include more interactive communications in an effort to build more efficient relationships with its customers.

"This focused effort will invigorate Xerox's online presence and create new business opportunities from the Web-focused invention and innovation of our research and development centers," said Miron.