Business news in Rochester is more than Kodak's bankruptcy. Today, we focus on one of the region's top five employers that has continued to perform and grow despite a challenging economic environment. YNN's Leah George sat down with Xerox's senior Rochester-based executive, Kevin Warren, to learn more.
"For a company to continue to be viable over the long period of time, you always have to continue to innovate and change,” said Warren.
Kevin Warren started working for Xerox in 1984 as a sales trainee in Washington, D.C.
"When I first started with the company, it was primarily a great copier company," Warren told YNN.
Warren is now President of U.S. Client Operations for Xerox Technology, and the company has evolved into a market leader in managed print and business process outsourcing technologies.
For the first time, more revenues from the $22.6 billion Fortune 500 company are being generated from services than technology.
"That’s really driven by the marketplace, that’s what companies want. They want organizations to be able to manage their processes, not just sell them things," explained Warren.
Warren credits Xerox leaders with having the foresight and courage to sacrifice short-term gains for long-term results.
In 2009, there was a historic succession of CEOs at Xerox that captured the world's attention.
"That was done seamlessly without really a blink. There was no drama, no hiccup in the stock market. And then within 90 days of Ursula taking over, she made the largest acquisition in the company’s history with the acquisition of ACS, $6.5 billion, largest BPO player, which really redefined how the company’s strategic direction was going forward," said Warren.
Norwalk, Connecticut-based Xerox Corporation now employs about 140 thousand people in 160 countries. About 66 hundred of those employees work in the Rochester region.
"This is still a very strategic market center for us, but having said that, we are a global company now. And a lot of our revenues, more than half our revenues, are from outside the United States, so we have an obligation to make sure that where we do business, we invest there as well," said Warren.
Xerox researchers and engineers have been laid off across the company's footprint as it continues to transition into a service-based business. At the same time, call centers are being opened, creating new job opportunities.
Like his CEO, Warren's roots in Xerox run deep. He believes the company is a reflection of its people, whose number one priority remains taking care of the client.
"It really is a combination of how technology, and the knowhow on services, intellectual properties, how we can bring those two things together to allow our clients to be more productive, to be more competitive, to be more efficient, to be more profitable. I think that really is the secret sauce," said Warren.