Xerox CEO Ursula Burns named as chairman of post-split document business

Burns will be out as Xerox chief executive after it splits its services business and legacy hardware operations into two separate, publicly-traded companies.

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Xerox on Friday said current CEO Ursula Burns will serve as chairman of the board of the planned Document Technology company after Xerox splits its services business and legacy hardware operations into two separate, publicly-traded companies.

Burns will continue in her current roles of chairman and CEO until the separation is completed sometime this year. Xerox says it is still searching for CEOs for both companies.

Xerox first announced plans to break up the company in January following pressure from activist investor Carl Icahn, who acquired an eight-percent stake in Xerox at the end of last year. At the time, Burns' future role within either company was unclear.

Speaking at the company's annual shareholder meeting in Norwalk, Conn., Burns said the focus up to now has been to figure out how to best separate the two business segments.

"My decision-making process has been grounded in making the best decision for Xerox and for me, personally, in that order," Burns said.

If all goes as planned, Xerox says the separation will create an $11 billion document technology company with 40,000 employees, and a $7 billion Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) company. However, the transition has forced the legacy tech vendor to prune its workforce, and Burns warned of more layoffs before the the split is complete.

"We have and will continue to eliminate jobs," she said. "We do this to position the companies well."

The spinoff puts Xerox alongside a bevy of other legacy corporations that have succumbed to pressure to split up or pare their operations. Icahn notoriously led the charge to break eBay and PayPal into two companies. That split was finalized last July.