Xerox Picks Its Technology President As CEO Of Post-Split Company

Xerox has checked off a major box on its "to do" list before it separates into two companies by naming the president of the products side to lead it after the split.

Jeff Jacobson, a veteran of the printing and graphics technology industry who joined Xerox in 2012, and heads what is called the Xerox Technology division of the current company, will become CEO of a company that -- as a separate division -- took in $11 billion in revenue in 2015, according to a statement from Xerox.

Thursday's announcement of Jacobson's appointment comes nine days after Xerox named Ashok Vemuri, the former CEO of solutions provider iGate, to lead the other business, which took in $7 billion in revenue in 2015. That business, which will be named Conduent, will focus on business process outsourcing.

[Related: Partners: Xerox Split Will Lead to Deeper Channel Focus]

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Both Xerox and Conduent will be publicly owned companies.

Xerox's Global Business Services division ranks No. 9 on CRN's 2016 Solution Provider 500 list.

Two Xerox partners contacted by CRN didn’t react directly to the announcement, but expressed hope that a post-split Xerox will be beneficial for their businesses.

Bob Venero, president and CEO of Future Tech Enterprise of Holbrook, N.Y., said he has "no worries" about opportunities after the split. He said he foresees a stronger focus by the vendor on its channel partners that will lead to more opportunities at landing enterprise-level business rather than just small and midsize business accounts.

"I'm looking forward to seeing how they're going to put this company together," Venero said.

Meanwhile, Augustine Riolo, president of Knowledge Information Solutions of Virginia Beach, Va., told CRN that while he doesn't know Jacobson, he's not surprised that Xerox chose to go in that direction with the leadership role.

Riolo said he anticipates that his company's relationship with Xerox "will continue to be strong."

Jacobson, 56, became president of Xerox Technology in 2014. Before coming to Xerox, he served as president, CEO and chairman of Presstek, a supplier of digital offset printing solutions, where he drove a global expansion program, the Xerox statement said. Previously, he was chief operating officer of Eastman Kodak's $3.6 billion Graphic Communications Group. He also served for five years as CEO of Kodak Polychrome Graphics, a $1.7 billion joint venture between Sun Chemical and Eastman Kodak, according to his bio on Xerox's website.

Jacobson's appointment caps several weeks of corporate activity that began with last month's announcement that current CEO Ursula Burns will step down when the company separates into two, expected by the end of this year. She will serve as chairman of the new Xerox, the unit Jacobson will lead.

"Jeff is a great leader with a passion for our business and employees, deep customer relationships and a clear strategic vision to capitalize on the opportunities ahead," Burns said in the Xerox statement. "During his four years at Xerox, Jeff has driven significant productivity and cost efficiency efforts while maintaining our commitment to innovation, quality and leading technology."

Xerox announced in January that it would split into two companies. The announcement came two months after activist investor Carl Icahn disclosed the purchase of more than 7 percent of Xerox stock, and trumpeted his intention to discuss possible operational improvements and strategic alternatives.