Another One for the History Books: First Black Woman to be CEO of Fortune 500 Company

By Jorge Rivas May 27, 2009

I know very little about the Xerox Corporation’s record on worker rights and the environment and even less about the woman I’m writing about below, but I’m including this story because it is an important milestone. The NY Times is reporting the Xerox Corporation, best known for their printers and photo copiers, will become the first Fortune 500 company to be headed by a Black woman. Too bad this is happening during the recession, but I wish her the best. Ursula Burns will look over the company beginning this summer. Burns has been with Zerox for almost 30 years, she first joined them in 1980 as a summer mechanical engineering intern. Burns grew up in the"projects" on Delancey Street in Lower Manhattan. ”There were lots of Jewish immigrants, fewer Hispanics and African-Americans, but the common denominator and great equalizer was poverty,”she says.