After stepping down as CEO last July, Xerox's Anne Mulcahy will retire as chairman and board director on May 20, the day of Xerox's annual shareholders' meeting, according to the company.
Ursula Burns, who replaced Mulcahy as CEO, will assume the additional role of chairman of Xerox's board.
"Leaving Xerox is not easy, but the time is right," said Mulcahy in a 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."
Mulcahy, 57, joined Xerox as a sales representative in 1976. She was named CEO on Aug. 1, 2001, and chairman on Jan. 1, 2002, replacing Paul Allaire.
Mulcahy is credited with helping turn around Xerox from massive debt and federal accounting investigations. When she took office in 2001, Xerox lost $94 million. Six years later, its profit topped $1 billion.
Mulcahy was a huge proponent of the channel, and her "partner or perish" slogan trickled down to all parts of the business. Under her direction Xerox made a massive cultural change to focus more on indirect relationships.
"You really do learn the most obvious lesson of all, which is creating pull vs. push," Mulcahy told CRN in 2007 when she was inducted into CRN's Industry Hall of Fame. "Guess what? Solution providers don't work for you. These folks have to see you as having created a positive advantage for their customers."
N.J. Nicholas Jr., lead independent director on Xerox's board, said Mulcahy leaves a rich legacy that is defined by her close connection to Xerox customers, her active engagement with Xerox people, and her commitment to the values of the company.
"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," Nicholas said in a statement.