“A diverse leadership”

Xerox’s Christa Carone explains how her team positioned the first African American female CEO of a major US company

Ursula Burns (left) took over from Anne Mulcahy as CEO of Xerox in June 2009

Anne Mulcahy was head of HR before becoming CEO, and Ursula Burns comes from an engineering background – two very different career paths. They seem to offer very different approaches to leading a company; how do you communicate this shift in attitude?
I think we’re in a fortunate position, in that Ursula Burns had been working side by side with Anne Mulcahy for several years, so this leadership change was a well planned succession and therefore didn’t surprise anybody. I’d actually say their leadership styles are not terribly different, and certainly they both grew up in the company, if you will, and share the same amount of passion and commitment for the company and for the industry that we’re in. It was an incredibly smooth transition because it had been mapped out pretty strategically and was therefore well accepted by Xerox people.

Christa Carone

Christa Carone is vice president, marketing and communications for Xerox Corporation, serving as the company’s chief marketing officer. She was named to this position in September 2008, and, among others, is responsible for global marketing strategy and initiatives that include advertising, public relations, internal communications and integrated campaigns. Prior to this role, Carone was vice president of global communications, leading Xerox’s public relations, internal and corporate communications, and community relations initiatives. Before joining Xerox, she managed communications and public affairs for healthcare companies in Rochester and Baltimore.