Xerox CFO William Osbourn Leaving

Osbourn, during his three-plus years as Xerox CFO, managed the company‘s finances through its breakup with Conduent, its pushback against an acquisition attempt by Fujifilm, and its failed hostile takeover attempt of HP Inc.


Xerox Holdings Corp. on Friday said that William Osbourn, its chief financial officer and executive vice president for the last three-plus years, is leaving the company for personal reasons.

Taking over for Osbourn on an interim basis on Sept. 30 as chief financial officer is Xavier Heiss, a 32-year Xerox veteran. Heiss is expected to stay in that role while the Norwalk, Conn.-based company conducts an internal and external search for a permanent successor.

Osbourn was a Xerox mainstay during a time of massive change as the company split into two, managed to avoid being taken over by former partner Fujifilm, and tried doing a hostile takeover of Hewlett Packard.

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Osbourn joined Xerox in early December of 2016 just prior to the move by Xerox on December 31, 2016 to split into two publicly-traded companies, Xerox and Conduent.

He continued to manage Xerox‘s finances through two big merger and acquisition attempts that ultimately were not consummated.

Xerox and its longtime partner Fujifilm were reported in January of 2018 to be negotiating an agreement under which Fujifilm would take a controlling interest in Xerox. Over time, those negotiations, and the acrimony they caused, became public. A couple of Xerox‘s big investors including Carl Icahn were opposed to the deal. That May, Xerox officially killed the Fujifilm deal, a move which caused its CEO at the time, Jeff Jacobson, as well as five board members to resign.

In late 2019, the focus shifted as Xerox mounted a hostile takeover attempt on HP Inc. Xerox in November made a $33-billion to acquire HP. HP resisted, and after much back-and-forth, Xerox in late March scrapped its bid and gave up on its list of nominations to the HP board of directors.

Xerox declined to provide further information on the personnel moves after a CRN request.

However, Xerox Vice Chairman and CEO John Visentin, said in a prepared statement that everyone one day must make hard decisions related to work-life balances.

“At this time, Bill has decided he needs to focus on his family and personal goals. Bill played a critical role managing Xerox’s finances through a challenging time in the company’s history, serving as a steady hand through leadership changes, a major transformation and most recently a pandemic. I want to thank him for his leadership and partnership. I know I speak for all of us at Xerox when I say we wish Bill well,” Visentin said in that statement.

Heiss served in various finance, business transformation, and sales roles during his 32 years at Xerox, and is currently the executive vice president and president of EMEA Operations as of early 2020.