CORVALLIS, Ore. – Ursula M. Burns, the president of Xerox Corporation, will share her views on the challenges and opportunities facing leaders in corporate America in a free public lecture at Oregon State University on Thursday, Jan. 10.
The event is sponsored by OSU’s College of Business as part of the Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Series. It will be held in the Austin Auditorium inside the LaSells Stewart Center, 26th Street and Western Boulevard in Corvallis from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
“We are extremely fortunate to have Ms. Burns come to campus to speak to our students and community,” said College of Business Dean Ilene Kleinsorge. “She has been referred to as one of corporate America’s next generation of leaders and a rising star.”
The title of Burns’ speech will be “Lessons of Leadership: Bold Bets and Back to Basics.”
Burns is responsible for the company’s global research, development, engineering, marketing and manufacturing of Xerox technology, supplies and related services. She also oversees for the corporation Global Accounts, Information Management, Corporate Strategy, Human Resources and Ethics, and Marketing Operations.
Burns has been instrumental in helping Xerox revamp its entire product portfolio and align its products and services around four key strategic areas: color printing; next-generation digital production printing; value-added services; and the development of technologies geared for small and mid-sized businesses.
In naming Burns president of the company last year, Xerox chairwoman and chief executive officer Anne Mulcahy said, “Xerox today offers the broadest portfolio of document management systems and software in our industry and in our history. That progress happened on Ursula’s watch as she drove a technology strategy that launched more than 100 products in the last three years.”
During her presentation at OSU, Burns will talk about the company’s path from the brink of bankruptcy to a financially-strong, leading technology enterprise. She’ll share the leadership lessons learned along the way and how Xerox’s focus on big bets – like color and document services – and back to the basics – like cash generation and costs control – have redefined the company, making it more relevant and profitable in today’s more competitive marketplace.
During the past 27 years, Burns has held several positions in engineering including product development and planning. In June 1991, she became the executive assistant to Paul A. Allaire, then Xerox chairman and chief executive officer. From 1992 through 2000, Burns led several business teams including the office color and fax business, office network copying business, and the departmental business unit. In May 2000, she was named senior vice president, Corporate Strategic Services, and two years later assumed the role of president, Business Group Operations.
Burns earned a bachelor’s degree from Polytechnic Institute of New York and a master of science degree in mechanical engineering from Columbia University.