Anne Mulcahy speaks at Simon School

Anne_mulcahy_4We often host Simon alumni and key executives on campus to provide opportunities for students to interact and learn from them. On Monday, October 26, 2007, Anne Mulcahy, CEO of Xerox Corporation, came to the Simon School as a part of our Kalmbach Executive Lecture series.  We reserved our largest lecture hall and had a turnout of almost 200 current students, staff, faculty, and alumni – all eager to hear her speak about the Xerox turnaround. 

Anne joined Xerox over 30 years ago as a sales representative, taking on increasing responsibility over her tenure with the company.  She attributes both her passion to the company, as well as her leadership style – which required a willingness to make the hard decisions – as key reasons that she and her team were able to pull Xerox out of a "near fatal slump".  She spoke of the cash crunch due to mounting debt and how she and some key Xerox leaders went on a road show to various banks to instill confidence and keep the business going.  It was also very interesting to hear about the tough strategic decisions they faced and some business areas where they chose to pull out – such as ink jet printers.  Anne referenced the Jim Collins book "Good to Great" several times and encouraged the audience not to settle for just good enough.

The best part of her story is the happy ending for Xerox – several years with successive quarters of earnings success and profitability.    After the lecture and a formal question/answer session, she joined the audience for informal conversations during an evening reception. 

Stay tuned for details about future speakers as we continue to blog.

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