Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Ursula M. Burns, 1st Female A.A. CEO of Fortune 500
Ursula M. Burns serves as Chairman and CEO of Xerox. She is the first African-American woman CEO to head a Fortune 500 company. She is also the first woman to succeed another woman as head of a Fortune 500 company. In 2014, Forbes rated her the 22nd most powerful woman in the world. Burns was raised by a single mother in the Baruch Houses, a New York city housing project. Both of her parents were Panamanian immigrants. 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 Polytechnic School of Engineering in 1980 and a master of science in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University a year later. In 2000, Burns was named a senior vice president and began working closely with soon to be CEO Anne Mulcahy, in what both women have described as a true partnership. Nine years later, in July 2009, she was named CEO, succeeding Mulcahy, who remained as chairwoman until May 2010.