â€œDreams do come true, but not without the help of others, A good Education, A strong Work Ethic and the courage to Lean inâ€
Name: Ursula M. Burns
Birth: September 20, 1958
Place of Birth: New York
Company Position: CEO and Chairman of XEROX
Salary and Bonus: $2.8million
Awards: 14th MOST powerful woman in the world in 2009- Forbes, first African-American female CEO of a Fortune 500 company, 9th highest paid CEO in U.S.A
About Ursula Burns: A Phenomenal woman
Ursula Burns, a renowned name in the world of business, the CEO and Chairman on Xerox. According to Forbes, she was the fourteenth most powerful woman in the world in 2009 and ninth highest paid female CEO in the United States of America. She is a remarkable woman, who achieved her dreams by giving her best consistently. She is a self made millionaire, coming from a very humble background but her perseverance knew no bounds. Not only this, she is also an advocate and a philanthropist, striving towards making a better society.
Life and Education:
Ursula M. Burns was born on September 20, 1958. Her single mother raised and her two siblings in a low-income housing project in New York. Her mother worked several jobs so that she could provide her children with a good education. Her mother was a very big influence in her life, telling her â€œwhere you are does not define who you areâ€. She always encouraged and inspired Ursula to achieve greatness that she was destined to reach. From a young age, Ursula was good at math and this interest of her in numbers became a passion as she grew up. She obtained from New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering a bachelor of science in Mechanical Engineering (1980) and masters in the same field from Columbia University (1981).
Her climb on the ladder of Success
Burns joined Xerox as an intern in the summer of 1980. A year later she procured a job there playing various roles in product development and planning. She swiftly made her way up in the company despite of her unconventional ways of working. In 1990 she became the assistant executive and in 1999 she became the vice president of manufacturing. In 2000 she became the senior vice president, nine years later she was named the CEO of the company and in 2010 she became the chairman. Under her leadership the company has incurred a phenomenal growth even in an era where paper work is losing its role.
Contribution to the Growth of the company:
During the period of financial difficulty of the company in 2002, Burns was promoted to the position of first president of Xerox Business Group (first woman to hold this position). She had five divisions under her and under her management they fetched a profit of 80%. She streamlined the company, hired outside contractors to make products. In 2013, the earning per share shot up to $1.09 from $1.02 in 2012. The companyâ€™s revenue in 2013 was $21.4 billion. Under Burnsâ€™ leadership, Xerox has displayed remarkable growth and has become a profitable organization.
Burnsâ€™ work is not just confined to her company, through President Obamaâ€™s initiative of â€œChange the Equationâ€, she is encouraging more females to pursue a career in science and math. Besides this she also gives leadership council to various educational, communal and non-profit organizations including MIT, University of Rochester, the U.S. Olympic Committee, National Academy Foundation, FIRST(For Information and Recognition Of Science and Technology) and various others. In 2009, she was appointed by President to help the White House national project on STEM(science, technology, engineering and math) and in 2010, Obama named her the vice chair person of the Presidentâ€™s Export Council.
Familial Life: Dedicated outside and inside the House
She married Lloyd Bean, a colleague at Xerox. Burns was always dedicated towards her work but her family always came first. She gave as much time she could to her family and is a proud mother of two talented children. Despite her workload she always took weekends off and when her children were young she worked after they slept or before they woke up. She never brought her work to home, not only she is a great business woman but also a phenomenal mother.
A Woman to Watch Out For
Ursula Burns is an extraordinary woman for whom the fairytale of from rags to riches came true but she worked her way up to earn all that she got. She is the first African-American woman to be appointed as CEO of a Fortune 500 company. She is a legend to watch out for, an outstanding woman who achieved great heights maintaining her unconventional outlook and abiding her own strict moral ethics.