The succession process Xerox used in the the transition from Anne Mulcahy to Ursula Burns is a model of how succession should be done.
Mulcahy effectively took over leadership of Xerox in May 2000, so she is completing nine years at the helm. She did an extraordinary job of leading Xerox from near-bankruptcy to the leader in its field once again. Given all the pressures of being CEO, this seems like an appropriate tenure.
Early on, she identified Burns as a potential successor and actively groomed her for the top job. Two years ago, her succession was signaled with Burns' promotion to president. Becoming CEO is the logical step at this time. As a young board chair who has completed her term as CEO, Mulcahy is well positioned to help develop future CEOs of her calibre.
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