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10 facts about Ursula Burns that will inspire women to be successful


Ursula Burns is the first black American woman CEO to head a Fortune 500 company.

She was also the first woman to succeed another woman as head of the company.

Shortly after Ursula Burns was named CEO, she led the acquisition of Affiliated Computer Services.

In 2016, she led Xerox in a split into two independent companies namely Xerox Corporation and Conduent Incorporated.

Ursula Burns remained chairwoman and CEO of Xerox through the process, and was then appointed chairwoman of the standalone Document Technology company.

After stepping down from the position in December 2016, Ursula Burns retained the title of chairwoman of the newly formed document technology company until May 2017, when she left the Xerox board and her role as chairperson.

Burns was raised by a single mother in a New York City housing project. Her parents were immigrants from Panama.

She attended Cathedral High School, a Catholic all girls school on East 56th Street in New York. She went on to obtain a bachelor of science degree in Mechanical Engineering from New York University Tandon School of Engineering (then Brooklyn Polytechnic) in 1980 and a master of science in mechanical engineering from Columbia University a year later.

Ursula Burns

Below are 10 inspiring facts about Ursula Burns that will inspire women to go for nothing for success in their chosen careers.

*Ursula Burns made headlines in 2009 when she became the first black American woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

*She has been listed multiple times by Forbes as one of the 100 most powerful women in the world. In 2015, she was listed as the 29th.

*She was appointed by U.S. President Barack Obama to help lead the White House National STEM program in 2009 and she remained a leader of the STEM program until 2016.

*She was raised by a wonderful mother in the rough and tumble public housing projects on the Lower East Side of Manhattan but she didn’t let her background determine her future.

*She joined Xerox as an intern in 1980 and during her career she has held leadership posts spanning corporate services, manufacturing and product development. She was named president in 2007.

*During her tenure as chief executive officer, she helped the company transform from a global leader in document technology to the world’s most diversified business services company serving enterprises and governments of all sizes. Shortly after being named CEO in 2009, she spearheaded the largest acquisition in Xerox history, the $6.4 billion purchase of Affiliated Computer Services.

*In July 2017, VEON named Ursula Burns as its chairwoman, as the telecoms operator undertakes corporate governance reforms and a makeover as a global online services company.

*She is a senior advisor to Teneo and will join the board of the beverage company Diageo on April 2, 2018.

*Ursula Burns spends time with organisations that help women gain the education and self respect they need to take risks, to dream big. Ursula Burns provides leadership counsel to community, educational and non-profit organisations including FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), National Academy Foundation, and the U.S. Olympic Committee among others.

*Ursula Burns is a founding board director of Change the Equation, which focuses on improving the U.S. education system in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). She served as vice chairwoman of the executive committee of The Business Council between 2013 and 2014.

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