Xerox Corp. has tapped one of its longest-serving employees and most effective cost cutters to head up the company's Canadian unit.
The company has named Mandy Shapansky as president, chief executive officer and chairman of Xerox Canada.
She has worked for the company for 25 years, most recently as Xerox Canada's chief financial officer. She takes over the top job on July 1, the second woman to lead Xerox Canada.
Ms. Shapansky, a chartered accountant, takes the reins at a time when large businesses are beginning to open their wallets in the wake of the global recession - a positive sign for Xerox, which tends to rise and fall with corporate spending trends.
The company's strategy is focused on convincing large firms that Xerox's suite of products and services can help reduce costs related to the printing, faxing and copying of millions of pages, Ms. Shapansky said in an interview.
"During the Great Recession, companies evaluated every dollar they spent," she said. "What we show them is, how do you lean out their processes … how to use technology to reduce cycle time."
Ms. Shapansky's mandate is similar to that of Xerox Corp. CEO Ursula Burns, who took over as head of the company last July and maintained cost-cutting as a top priority. Ms. Burns became the first black woman to head a Fortune 500 company when she replaced Anne Mulcahy, the woman credited with turning the company around during her nine years as CEO.
Xerox is fresh off the biggest purchase in its history. Last September, it paid $6.4-billion (U.S.) for Affiliated Computer Services Inc., a Dallas-based business process and information technology firm. ACS, which allows companies to outsource certain business processes such as worker benefits and payroll, gives Xerox an entry into the business service market - a potentially lucrative industry at a time when large companies are still looking for ways to trim expenses.
As a result of the purchase, Xerox swung to a first-quarter loss this year, but saw revenue surge 33 per cent over the same period a year earlier, and posted stronger-than-expected guidance for the following quarter.
The strategy helps Xerox shift from its traditional strong suit in physical documents, while still focusing on companies that wish to cut costs by outsourcing portions of their business processes. The company saw its traditional copier and printer business hit hard by the global recession; Xerox said in January it planned 2,500 job cuts worldwide in 2010.
Competition in the services sector is stiff, however, with powerhouses such as Hewlett-Packard Co. also attempting to woo clients that want to outsource their technology systems.
Ms. Shapansky said cost-cutting and productivity are first and foremost on the minds of Xerox Canada's customers, but as the global recession comes to an end, the overall market is beginning to grow again.
"We need to shake the perception that zero is the new growth," she said.
Ms. Shapansky will replace Kevin Warren, who moves on to become president of Xerox's U.S. Solutions group, based in Rochester, N.Y.