Sorry!! The article you are trying to read is not available now.
Thank you very much;
you're only a step away from
downloading your reports.

Rags to Riches CEOs: Ursula Burns


A gift for math added up to a ticket out of the projects.


Speaking to a YWCA Women Empowering Women lunch in Rochester last month, Burns said:

We were poor, for sure, but we didn't know it. We just didn't have a clue how much trouble my mom was having raising us three, which I thought was the miracle of this amazing woman.

She gave us courage. She gave us will and love. I can still hear her telling me that where you are is not who you are. If you're in a bad place, it's only temporary and shouldn't change the core value of what you can bring to the world.

By the time Burns was a student at Cathedral High School, a Catholic, all-girls school on East 56th Street in New York, she knew exactly what she could bring to the world, in terms of job skills, at least.

According to a Forbes report, Burn was a wizard with numbers from a young age. Looking toward college, and the need to pick a major, she went to her school's library one day to look up top-paying jobs for people with math or science degrees. From there she plotted her course to a degree in mechanical engineering, and attended Polytechnic Institute of New York and graduate school at Columbia University, defying the teachers who had been steering her toward a more traditional career in nursing or teaching.

Burns started at Xerox in 1980, when she took a summer intern position in the company's engineering department. She then used her brains and what insiders called a "no-nonsense New York" attitude to work her way to the C-suite, overseeing several areas of the company -- engineering, manufacturing, product development, and marketing -- along the way.

Her first year as CEO will be a challenging one for Xerox, whose recently released third-quarter profit figure was down by 50% from a year ago. Burns explained the loss by citing reluctance among the company's customer base to buy new technology while economic conditions remain rocky. But Xerox shares advanced by 4%, following larger market trends, and the company upped its predicted share price -- to an anticipated $0.55 to $0.57 per share from estimated of $0.50 to $0.55 -- for the full year.

No positions in stocks mentioned.
The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Videos