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Jim Firestone is the man in charge of making sure that Xerox's new promises to the channel become reality.
Firestone, who joined the Stamford, Conn.-based company in the 1990s after leaving IBM, is one of the few non-lifetime Xerox executives who have worked their way into senior management and stayed on after Xerox's near-death episode eight years ago. He's also one of the executives who has won the trust of Chairman and CEO Anne Mulcahy.
Mild-mannered and soft-spoken, Firestone is also direct. He readily acknowledges that the company continually has to prove itself, and that rivals like Hewlett-Packard present a significant competitive challenge.
Earlier this year, when Xerox announced it planned to acquire solution provider Global Imaging—a reseller of products from rivals including Ricoh—Firestone was asked if Xerox would continue reselling competitors' printers once the deal was closed. "We'll see," Firestone said, working hard to conceal a smile. Global Imaging rapidly began contributing to Xerox's bottom line. Solution providers backed away from earlier fears Global Imaging meant Xerox would compete with the channel for customers. Ricoh and the other vendors wound up severing the relationship with Global Imaging and Xerox, and the accounts began switching over to Xerox products.
Solution providers give Xerox and Firestone points for engaging with them in greater numbers, especially with Xerox's "PagePack" program. And while Xerox still has a daily fight against HP, they're confident Xerox won't often be fighting with them, as well.
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