Case | HBS Case Collection | January 2005 (Revised July 2010)

Anne Mulcahy: Leading Xerox through the Perfect Storm (A)

by William W. George and Andrew N. McLean


In 2000, Xerox faces bankruptcy amid a liquidity crisis, collapsed profitability, and an expanding SEC investigation. Traces the career and leadership development of Anne Mulcahy, a former sales executive unexpectedly named COO of the beleaguered company as a last effort to turn Xerox around. Describes how Mulcahy assembles and motivates her team, frames her priorities, and fills her knowledge gaps in the face of critics doubtful of Xerox's ability to change. Raises questions in her mind about stakeholder priorities, employee motivation, difficult strategic trade-offs, and finding profitability while trying to avoid bankruptcy.

Keywords: Organizational Change and Adaptation; Leadership; Financial Liquidity; Organizational Culture; Crisis Management; Insolvency and Bankruptcy; Gender; Corporate Governance;


George, William W., and Andrew N. McLean. "Anne Mulcahy: Leading Xerox through the Perfect Storm (A)." Harvard Business School Case 405-050, January 2005. (Revised July 2010.)