Anne M. Mulchany
chairman & ceo, xerox
Anne M. Mulcahy, Chairman & CEO of Xerox, addresses the Boston College Chief Executives' Club of Boston at the Wharf Room at the Boston Harbor Hotel.
Xerox CEO worries about U.S. tech leadership
Xerox Corp. Chief Executive Anne M. Mulcahy yesterday urged Boston business leaders to invest in America by investing in Americans.
She then acknowledged that Xerox's newest research and development facility is being built in India.
"You can't get Indians to come here, so we are going for talent," she said.
Mulcahy was the featured speaker at the Boston College Chief Executives' Club of Boston luncheon.
Connnecticut-based Xerox makes printers, copiers and other document devices.
Mulcahy was named its top executive six years ago when the company was struggling mightily.
Clockwise, from bottom right: Fr. William P. Leahy, S.J. (President, Boston College), Robert Popeo (Chairman, Mintz Levin), John Fish (President & CEO, Suffolk Construction), Jay Hooley (President & COO, State Street Corporation), Richard Egan (Ambassador, United States), John Kaneb (Chairman, HP Hood), Cleve Killingsworth (President & CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA), William Swanson (Chairman & CEO, Raytheon Company), Edmund Kelly (Chairman, President & CEO, Liberty Mutual Group)
"Six years ago, we were losing $300 million a year," she said.
Despite "overwhelming" pressure to reduce the research and development budget, forward-thinking leaders resisted, she said.
Xerox now has $17 billion in revenues and more than 57,000 employees.
"Two-thirds of our technology revenue has come from technology we produced in the last three years," she said.
But that won't always be the case, unless American civic and business leaders focus on the country's future scientists, engineers and innovators, she said. "We are failing to invest in our own future," she said.
Noting that only 7 percent of working engineers are female, and only 20 percent of engineering students are femle, she said, "There's an appalling lack of minorities and women in engineering and science careers."
Members of the media swarm around Ms. Mulcahy.
She called for "lowering the barriers for the immigration of highly skilled workers," to help immigrants stay in America.
"We all need to ratchet it up. This is the shared responsibility of business, government and education," she said.
After her comments, an unidentified man stood up and asked, "If you were to build a new R&D facility, where would it be and why?"
"Well," Mulcahy replied, "we are doing one in India. We are a global company and we've got to do global business."
Xerox has four other research and development facilities- in New York, California, Canada and France.
Article by Christine McConville
Friday, June 13, 2008