In 2001, the board of Xerox picked Anne Mulcahy to lead the Stamford company out of a ditch. At the time the sales force was in disarray, the SEC was investigating their business and reporting practices, and they were $14 billion (or $17 billion depending on what source you read) in debt. Her staff and business cuts were ruthless, but that plus a series of strong public relations efforts and senior management changes, yielded a $4 billion dollar gain on their debt. They aren’t out of the woods yet – Cannon and Hewlett-Packard provide tough competition in the market. In this new CEO QuickTalk, Anne Mulcahy describes the parable of the cow in the ditch. It’s a message that has stayed with her as she works to grow and lead Xerox to success.
Mulcahy describes herself as more of a communicator, than anything else. During her first few months, she spent untold hours and days traveling the globe listening carefully to employees, customers, and senior executives in the company. Her back-to-basics approach has been a boon to the company and investors. Only three years into her tenure, Anne Mulcahy gave this presentation at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Enjoy!