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Xerox CEO: Company split will not affect Rochester, N.Y. jobs

By Daniel Uria   |   Jan. 30, 2016 at 12:14 PM
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NORWALK , Conn., Jan. 30 (UPI) -- Tech company Xerox separated its services and traditional office supply sales by splitting itself into two publicly traded companies.

One $11 billion company will continue to sell the copiers, printers and scanners traditionally associated with Xerox, while the second $7 billion company will focus on providing services, such as managing call centers and collecting tolls, to government agencies and corporations.

"We believe the separation will greatly enhance value for Xerox shareholders," Carl Icahn, the company's second-largest shareholder, who had been pushing for the split, wrote on Twitter.

Icahn gained the ability to appoint three board members to the firm as a result of the split.

The Wall Street Journal reported the company's shares rose 6 percent to $9.75 following the news.

New York Sen. Charles Schumer, a Democrat, said he was concerned about the impact the split could have on jobs in Rochester, but said he was reassured by Xerox CEO Ursula Burns the workforce levels would stay intact.

"This afternoon I spoke directly with Xerox Chairwoman and CEO Ursula Burns and she assured me that this split will not impact current job levels or Xerox's footprint in Rochester," he said. "She made it clear that the Document Technology business remains strong and that Xerox remains committed to Rochester."

The company plans to employ 40,000 workers in it's office machine business and 104,000 in the office services business, but despite Burns's assurances her own future at the company is in question.

The split represents a reversal of her $6 billion acquisition of Affiliated Computer Services in 2010 which led to Xerox's entry into business services. Some believe Burns may retire after the transition to two companies was complete but she would not comment on the matter publicly.

"What I wanted our board and our management team and me to do was to think about what the best path for the company is going forward, not what the best role is for me," she said.

While her future remains unclear, Icahn praised Burns for going through with the split.

"We applaud Ursula Burns and Xerox's Board of Directors for recognizing the importance of separating Xerox into two publicly traded companies," he said.

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