Xerox Corp's Turnaround Strategy
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Case Code : BSTR121
Case Length : 13 Pages
Period : 1997-2003
Organization : Xerox
Pub Date : 2004
Teaching Note : Available
Countries : India
Industry : Printing and Imaging Equipment
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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.
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What Went Wrong?
Thoman joined Xerox in June 1997 as COO and president. He was an advocate of the digital revolution and supported the then CEO, Allaire, in his efforts to strengthen Xerox's position in the digital segment. They both believed that Xerox should not just sell products but offer customers complete document solutions.
In order to do that, Xerox needed to change the way its salesforce operated. From the early 1990s onwards, Allaire took several initiatives to change the way Xerox made sales. One major initiative was the creation of the Xerox Channels Group (Group) in 1997, which was closely monitored by Thoman. Upto
this point, Xerox sales teams had been highly successful through their direct
sales approach and had focused primarily on large corporate clients, while
ignoring the small and midsize networked office market...
Even before the reorganization plan was revealed to the public, Allaire and Mulcahy spent a lot of time traveling in the US and overseas to meet and talk with as many Xerox employees as possible and prepare them for the changes that were going to happen.
They held meetings, teleconferences and even large town meetings to help employees understand the situation Xerox was in, what the leadership planned to do and how that would affect them. According to Mulcahy, keeping the communication lines open with employees and maintaining high visibility built employee confidence in her leadership and ability to execute the turnaround strategy. Mulcahy said, "It was pretty wearing, but if people understand your leadership style and you earn credibility, you get permission to take a lot of actions. When you're in a situation like ours, that confidence dramatically affects your ability to pull off change". Mulcahy
started sending out a regular memo called 'Turnaround Talk' to keep
employees informed about the changes taking place in the company...
Exhibit I: Consolidated Statements of Income
Exhibit II: Consolidated Statements of Income
Exhibit III: New Products Introduced in 2003