Partners Hopeful Xerox Will Continue Channel Focus After CEO Burns Steps Down

Xerox solution provider partners said they are optimistic that Xerox will continue its open-arms approach to the channel after Ursula Burns steps down from the CEO role when Xerox becomes two separate companies.

"Obviously, she has been instrumental in the policies Xerox has made in becoming more accessible to the channel," said Guy Baroan, founder and president of Elmwood Park, N.J.-based Xerox partner Baroan Technologies. However, he added, he is confident that the company's forthcoming split, announced in January, will continue to make Xerox partner-friendly, even if Burns is not the CEO.

"If this split is anything like the one that HP just went through, there will be an even better focus on partners," Baroan said, adding that he has heard feedback from HP partners who say that HP's focus has improved since it split back in November.

[Related: Xerox Says Company Split Will Be Complete By Mid-2016]

Sponsored post

On Friday, Xerox said Burns will continue as CEO until Xerox splits into the two publicly traded companies -- a $7 billion business process services organization and a $11 billion document technology business -- and will serve as the chairman of the board of Document Technology, but will not be taking on the position of CEO in either that company or the services company, Business Process Outsourcing.

According to the company, the split, which is expected to cost between $200 million and $250 million, is still on track to be completed by the end of this year.

Xerox's services business, Xerox Global Services, is ranked No. 7 on CRN’s 2015 Solution Provider 500 list.

Joshua Justice, president of Southern Solutions, a Waldorf, Md.-based Xerox partner, said he is anxious to hear who will be appointed to lead Document Technology, but is enthusiastic about Xerox's future.

"I am very excited about the new document technology company and the additional focus on managed print services and customized apps, which are the same things I am focused on," he said.

Ann Reese, Xerox's lead independent director, said in a statement: "Ursula’s deep industry experience and relationships along with her proven leadership skills will be valuable assets for the Document Technology company and will help ensure a smooth transition to a new management team. ... We are very pleased Ursula will continue to play a critical role."

In the release, Burns said she is looking forward to her role as chairman of Document Technology and that Xerox is continuing its search within and outside of the company for candidates to create new management teams.

"We have made significant progress toward creating two strong companies and I am confident that our decision to separate will position both businesses for continued success," Burns said.

In the company's earnings call last month, Xerox said it would be finalizing top executive positions for each firm by the middle of 2016.

During that call, the Norwalk, Conn.-based company also announced it will be undergoing a three-year, $300 million restructuring that it expects will save $2.4 billion over the next three years from both ongoing and new initiatives.

Southern Solutions' Justice said he is looking forward to the new structure of Xerox's document technology business, adding that his company has already greatly benefited from Xerox's partner programs.

"The future is exciting," he said.