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Anne Mulcahy to retire as Xerox chairman

Following her retirement as CEO last year, she will step down on May 20. Current CEO Ursula Burns will become new chairman.

Anne Mulcahy
Anne Mulcahy will retire as Xerox chairman and board director. Xerox

Xerox's Anne Mulcahy is stepping down as chairman and board director on May 20, the company said Tuesday.

Current CEO Ursula Burns will take on the additional job of chairman immediately following Mulcahy's departure.

The news marks Mulcahy's final curtain call on her 34 years with Xerox after having handed over the role of CEO to Burns in July.

Taking the reins as chief executive officer in 2001 and chairman in 2002, Mulcahy is credited with steering the company on the road to recovery following a rough patch of falling earnings and rising layoffs.

During her lengthy career, Mulcahy worked her way up the Xerox corporate ladder, starting as a sales rep in 1976 and then moving on to management positions in sales, human resources, and marketing. She took on the role of president and chief operating office in 2000 before becoming CEO and chairman. She is 57.

"Anne leaves a rich legacy that is defined by her close connection to Xerox customers, her active engagement with Xerox people, and her steadfast commitment to the values of the company that are inherent in its culture and in her effective leadership," Xerox board member N.J. Nicholas Jr. said in a statement. "As important, she has worked closely with the board to ensure a seamless and well planned leadership succession. She has earned our tremendous respect and our deepest gratitude."

Ursula Burns
Ursula Burns Xerox

As the incoming chairman, Burns also offered words of praise to Mulcahy for her leadership of the company.

"A remarkable leader who inspires followership, Anne was instrumental in re-creating our company at a time when we needed it most," Burns said in the statement. "She prioritized investments in innovation, shifted our strategy to become more focused on services, and significantly improved our financial health."

Mulcahy returned the compliment.

"Leaving Xerox is not easy, but the time is right," she said in the 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."