Anne M. Mulcahy rose to prominence at Xerox as the company’s first female chairperson in January 2002 and its first female CEO in August 2001.
In Anne Mulcahy’s book, Just Keep Fighting, she discusses how she inherited a dying company and led it back to success. Thus, this blog will discuss how Anne’s books and life lessons can inspire anyone.
The Accidental CEO
- As a last-ditch effort to save Xerox, Anne Mulcahy, a former sales executive, was unexpectedly named CEO.
- In August 2001, the Xerox board picked Mulcahy as president and CEO-in-waiting.
- She stated that she never imagined herself as CEO of Xerox. The salesperson was never trained to be Xerox’s CEO. Everyone, including herself, was taken aback.
- Mulcahy, the only daughter in a family of four boys, was encouraged by her parents to compete on an equal footing with her brothers.
- Also, this upbringing taught her to handle and listen to criticism, which has helped her make difficult choices.
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Her Strategy to Save The Dying Company
Anne Mulcahy’s creation discusses how she and her team devised a daring recovery strategy from the start. She immediately addressed the company’s liquidity issues and quickly raised $2.5 billion in cash.
Furthermore, through a “back to basics” approach and a renewed emphasis on operational efficiency, the company cut capital expenditures by half, sales, general, and administrative expenses by one-third, and total debt by half. Thus, proving that leaders are not born; they are made.
Her Love for Xerox
When Anne took over the company, it had reached rock bottom and was on the verge of collapse. Following this, the advisory advised them to declare bankruptcy because they were in a true crisis.
Furthermore, Anne’s lack of financial experience added fuel to the fire. She was a salesperson steadily working her way up to an executive position. So, in such a situation, she needed help.
Mulcahy, on the other hand, possessed qualities that Xerox desperately needed. She was honest, hardworking, disciplined, and devoted to Xerox – the company, the brand, and the people.
Anne Mulcahy‘s coworkers described her as compassionate as well as demanding. The newly appointed head knew she couldn’t tackle the situation alone, so she gathered all the resources she could spare.
The new CEO refused to let the company fall, and through working closely with her department heads, she managed to salvage some finances to ensure the lights stayed on.
Just Keep Fighting
Just Keep Fighting isn’t just the name of her book; it’s her mantra. The new leader never gave up on the company or its people. But determination could only get her so far.
As a result, Anne relied on her staff and the company’s connections. Mulcahy has quoted that effective communication was essential to the company’s successful turnaround strategy.
The chief’s tenacity and ability to make bold decisions revived the doomed company. Moreover, her idea was that when your organization is struggling, you need to give people the impression that you understand what’s going on and have the plan to fix it.
In return, Mulcahy accepted nothing less than complete support from her executive team—or any other Xerox employee.
The new boss gave people a choice: roll up their sleeves and come to work or leave Xerox. This no-nonsense, no-holds-barred approach resulted in a dedicated workforce uniquely aligned around a standard set of goals.
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Great Reviews on Anne Mulcahy’s Book
Anne Mulcahy’s book has achieved widespread acclaim as she has talked about how being from a nonexecutive background, she was surprisingly selected to become the head of a multi-billion dollar company.
Also, Anne mentioned how she inherited a boatload of problems along with that promotion. Most readers feel engrossed, thrilled, and highly motivated when they pick up the book.
Miss Mulcahy has reached the hearts of her readers through her extreme diligence and never-say-die attitude. What’s more, they advise that it is a must-read if they seek inspiration and motivation to achieve something in the workplace.
Being able to make a name for herself in the industry, especially in a male-dominated field, leading a company at death’s door to stability is worthy of praise. We wish the talented CEO the best and hope she will continue to inspire us even more.