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Xerox's former headquarters in Stamford (now headquartered in Norwalk)

Xerox Corporation ( ; ) is a fortune 500 global document management company (founded in 1906) which manufactures and sells a range of color and black-and-white printers, multifunction systems, photo copiers, digital production printing presses, and related consulting services and supplies. Xerox is headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticutmarker (moved from Stamford, Connecticutmarker in October 2007), though its largest population of employees is based in and around Rochester, New Yorkmarker, the area in which the company was founded. On September 28, 2009, Xerox announced the intended acquisition of Affiliated Computer Services for $6.4 billion. Xerox holds a Royal Warrant from HM Queen Elizabeth II and the Prince of Wales.


The Xerox 914 was the first one-piece plain paper photocopier, and sold in the thousands.

Xerox was founded in 1906 in Rochester as "The Haloid Photographic Company", which originally manufactured photographic paper and equipment. The company subsequently changed its name to "Haloid Xerox" in 1958 and then simply "Xerox" in 1961. The company came to prominence in 1959 with the introduction of the Xerox 914, the first plain paper photocopier using the process of Electro-photography, (later changed to xerography) developed by Chester Carlson. The 914 was so popular that by the end of 1961, Xerox had almost $60 million in revenue. By 1965, revenues leaped to over $500 million. Before releasing the 914, Xerox had tested the market by introducing a developed version of the prototype 'Hand equipment', known as the 'Flat-plate' 1385. This was followed by the first automatic xerographic printer, the "Copyflo," in 1955. The Copyflo was a large microfilm printer, producing positive prints, on roll paper, from any type of microfilm negative. Following the Copyflo, the process was scaled down to produce the 1824 microfilm printer. At about half the size and weight this, still sizable, machine printed onto hand fed, cut sheet paper which was pulled through the process by one of two 'gripper bars'. This gripper feed system, when scaled down, was to become the basis for the 813 desktop copier.

In 1963, Xerox introduced the Xerox 813, the first desktop plain-paper copier, bringing Carlson's vision of a copier that could fit on anyone's office desk into a reality. Ten years later in 1973, a basic, analogue, color copier, based on the 914, followed. The 914 itself was gradually speeded up to become the 420 and 720. The 813 was similarly developed into the 330 and 660 products and ,eventually, also the 740 desktop microfiche printer.

Chester Carlson's original hand equipment, which saw the market as the 1385 Flatplate, was not actually a viable copier because of its speed of operation. In consequence it was sold as a platemaker to the offset lithography market. It was little more than a high quality, commercially available plate camera, mounted as a horizontal rostrum camera, complete with photo-flood lighting and timer. The glass film/plate, however, had been replaced with an aluminum plate, coated in selenium. Clever electrics turned this into a quick developing and reusable substitute for film. A skilled user could produce fast, paper and metal printing plates of a higher quality than almost any other method. Having started as a supplier to the offset litho. duplicating industry, Xerox now set its sights on capturing some of offset's market share.

Xerox's first foray into duplicating, as distinct from copying, was with the Xerox 2400. This number denoted the number of prints produced in an hour. Although still some way short of offset speeds, this machine introduced the industry's first Automatic Document Feeder, Slitter/Perforator and Collator (sorter). This product was soon speeded up, fifty percent, to become the Xerox 3600 Duplicator.

As an aside, whilst all the above was going on, in a small lab a team were borrowing copiers, off the line, and modifying them. Called the Long Distance Xerography project (LDX for short) and beginning with 914s, the aim was to be able to connect two copiers together, via the public telephone network, such that a document scanned on one machine would be copied out on the other. Many years later this work came to fruition in the Xerox Telecopiers. The embryo of all today's domestic Fax. machines. Incidentally, most of the modern, digital, Multifunction Copiers can be used as Fax machines, precisely in the way originally envisioned.

The company expanded substantially throughout the 1960s, making millionaires of some long-suffering investors who had nursed the company through the slow research and development phase of the product. In 1960, the "Wilson Center for Research and Technology" was opened in Webster, New Yorkmarker, a research facility for xerography. Then in 1961, the company changed its name to "Xerox Corporation". Xerox common stock (XRX) was listed on the New York Stock Exchangemarker in 1961 and on the Chicago Stock Exchange in 1990.

In 1969, Xerox acquired Scientific Data Systems [SDS], and produced the Sigma line of 32-bit mainframe computers in the 1960s and 1970s.

The laser printer was invented in 1969 by Xerox researcher Gary Starkweather by modifying a Xerox copier. This development resulted in the first commercially available laser printer, the Xerox 9700, being launched in 1977. Laser printing eventually became a multi billion dollar business for Xerox. Archie McCardell was named president of the company in 1971. During his tenure, Xerox introduced its first color copier. During McCardell's reign at Xerox, the company announced record revenues, earnings and profits in 1973, 1974, and 1975. John Carrol became a backer, later spreading the company throughout North America.

Following these years of record profits, in 1975 Xerox resolved an anti-trust suit with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which at the time was under the direction of Frederic M. Scherer. The Xerox consent decree resulted in the forced licensing of the company’s entire patent portfolio, mainly to Japanese competitors. Within four years of the consent decree, Xerox's share of the U.S. copier market dropped from nearly 100% to less than 14%.

In 1970, under company president Charles Peter McColough, Xerox opened the Xerox PARCmarker (Xerox Palo Alto Research Center) research facility. The facility developed many modern computing technologies such as the mouse and the graphical user interface (GUI). From these inventions, Xerox PARC created the Xerox Alto in 1973, a small minicomputer similar to a modern workstation or personal computer. This machine can be considered the first true Personal Computer, given its versatile combination of a cathode-ray-type screen, mouse-type pointing device, and a QWERTY-type alphanumeric keyboard. But the Alto was never commercially sold, as Xerox itself could not see the sales potential of it. It was, however, installed in Xerox's own offices, worldwide and those of the US Government and military, who could see the potential. Within these sites the individual workstations were connected together by Xerox's own unique LAN, 'The Ethernet'. Data was sent around this system of heavy, yellow, low loss coaxial cable using the 'packet data' system. Soon Xerox's engineers worked out how to connect the individual sites together, using a system they called 'Inter Network Routing'. This was quickly abbreviated to the first three syllables. Initially there were two separate, private, worldwide networks. That of the US government and Xerox's own.

In 1979, Xerox threw open its doors to anyone in the industry and press, who might be interested in seeing their developments. Several Apple Computermarker employees, including Steve Jobs, visited Xerox PARC that day. Jobs and the others saw the commercial potential of the 'WIMP' (Windows, Icons, Mouse, and Pulldown menus) system and redirected development of the Apple Lisa to incorporate these technologies. Jobs is quoted as saying "They just had no idea what they had." In 1980, Jobs invited several key PARC researchers to join his company so that they could fully develop and implement their ideas.At Microsoft, who had also been present, Bill Gates had similar thoughts.

The Xerox Alto workstation was developed at Xerox PARC

In 1981 Xerox released a system similar to the Alto, the Xerox 6085 Star. It was the first commercial system to incorporate technologies that have subsequently become commonplace in personal computers, such as a bitmapped display, window-based GUI, mouse, Ethernet networking, file servers, print servers and e-mail. The Xerox 6085 Star, despite its technological breakthroughs, did not sell well due to its high price, costing $16,000 per unit. A typical Xerox Star-based office, complete with network and printers, would have cost $100,000.

In the mid 1980s, Applemarker considered buying Xerox; however, a deal was never reached. Apple instead bought rights to the Alto GUI and adapted it into to a more affordable personal computer, aimed towards the business and education markets. The Apple Macintosh was released in 1984, and was the first personal computer to popularize the GUI and mouse amongst the public.

The company was revived in the 1980s and 1990s, through improvement in quality design and realignment of its product line. Development of digital photocopiers in the 1990s and a revamp of the entire product range—essentially high-end laser printers with attached scanners, known as Multi Function Machines, or just 'MFMs', these were able to be attached to computer networks—again gave Xerox a technical lead over its competitors. Xerox worked to turn its product into a service, providing a complete "document service" to companies including supply, maintenance, configuration, and user support. To reinforce this image, the company introduced a corporate signature, "The Document Company" above its main logo and introduced a red "digital X". The "digital X" symbolized the transition of documents between the paper and digital worlds.

In 2000, Xerox acquired Tektronix color printing and imaging division in Wilsonville, Oregon, for US$925 million. This led to the current Xerox Phaser line of products as well as Xerox solid ink printing technology.

In September 2004, Xerox celebrated the 45th anniversary of the Xerox 914. More than 200,000 units were made around the world between 1959 and 1976, the year production of the 914 was stopped. Today, the 914 is part of American history as an artifact in the Smithsonian Institutionmarker.

Xerox's turnaround was largely led by Anne M. Mulcahy, who was appointed president in May 2000, CEO in August 2001 and chairman in January 2002. Mulcahy launched an aggressive turnaround plan that returned Xerox to full-year profitability by the end of 2002, along with decreasing debt, increasing cash, and continuing to invest in research and development.

In November 2006 Xerox completed the Acquisition of XMPie Press Release

In October 2008, Xerox Canada Ltd. was named one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers by Mediacorp Canada Inc., which was announced by the Toronto Star newspaper.

On May 21, 2009, it was announced that Ursula Burns would succeed Anne Mulcahy as CEO of Xerox. On July 1, 2009, Burns became the first African American woman to head a company the size of Xerox.

On September 28, 2009, Xerox announced the intended acquisition of Affiliated Computer Services for $6.4 Billion (the expected acquisition is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2010). Xerox said it will pay 4.935 Xerox shares and $18.60 cash for each share of ACS, totaling $6.4 billion, or $63.11 a share based on Friday prices.

Chief executives
Name Title Tenure
George C. Seager President 1906 – 1912
Gilbert E. Mosher President 1912 – 1938
Joseph R. Wilson President 1938 – 1946
Joseph C. Wilson President

1946 – 1966

1961 – 1967
C. Peter McColough CEO 1968 – 1982
David T. Kearns CEO 1982 – July 31, 1990
Paul A. Allaire CEO August 1, 1990 – April 6, 1999
G. Richard Thoman CEO April 7, 1999 – May 10, 2000
Paul A. Allaire CEO May 11, 2000 – July 31, 2001
Anne M. Mulcahy CEO August 1, 2001 – July 1, 2009
Ursula M. Burns CEO July 1, 2009 – present

Current products

Xerox today manufactures and sells a wide variety of office and production equipment including LCD Monitors, photo copiers, Xerox Phaser printers, multifunction printers, large-volume digital printers as well as workflow software under the brand strategy of FreeFlow. The impact of Xerox FreeFlow products on the graphic arts market and the print industry in general has grown exponentially since May 2006, largely as a result of the Xerox presence at IPEX 2006. Xerox also sells scanners and digital presses. On 29 May 2008, Xerox launched the Xerox iGen4 Press.

Xerox sells both color and black and white printers under the Xerox Phaser brand, with the color consumer model starting at US$299; the most expensive color model costs US$6,799.

Xerox also produces fax machines, professional printers, black and white copiers, and several other products.

In addition, Xerox produces many printing and office supplies such as paper, in many forms; and markets software such as Xerox DocuShare, Xerox MarketPort and FlowPort, offers consulting services, ECM Digital Repository Services and printing outsourcing.

Corporate structure

Although Xerox is a global brand, it maintains a joint venture, Fuji Xerox, with Japanese photographic firm Fuji Photo Film Co. to develop, produce and sell in the Asia-Pacificmarker region. Fuji Photo Film Co. is currently the majority stakeholder, with 75% of the shareholding.

Xerox India, formerly Modi Xerox, is Xerox's Indian subsidiary derived from a joint venture formed between Dr. Bhupendra Kumar Modi and Rank Xerox in 1983. Xerox obtained a majority stake in 1999 and aims to buy out the remaining shareholders.

Xerox now sponsors the Factory Ducati Team in the World Superbike Championship, under the name of the "Xerox Ducati".

Rank Xerox

European operations, Rank Xerox, later extended to Asia and Africa, has been fully owned by Xerox Corporation since 1997. The Rank Xerox name was discontinued following the buyout.

Environmental Record

U.S. office workers print an average of 10,000 pages per year. According to Xerox, around 40 percent of the pages printed out by people are only viewed once before being thrown away. Xerox is making attempts at reducing that number with “erasable paper.” This new type of paper is embedded with chemicals that are sensitive to light. When different wavelengths of light touch its surface, the paper darkens, and this in turn gives the “printed text or image” look. The images stay on the paper for between 16 and 24 hours before dissolving, and this allows the paper to be used again in the future.

The average American emits 9.44 tons of carbon dioxide a year. To help offices realize their environmental impact, Xerox released the “sustainability calculator” in late March 2008. The calculator has been created as a method to measure “the environmental benefits so we can use that in our reports and marketing materials” says Patty Calkins, who is the vice president of environment, health, and safety at Xerox, as well as to optimize the office equipment.

Since the 1990s, Xerox, has been an innovator in the domain of the eco-friendly or the green corporation. Its mission statement on the environment states “At Xerox, sustainability is our way of doing business. … We strive to maintain the highest standards to preserve our environment and protect and enhance the health and safety of our employees and communities.” In fact, Xerox has managed to create environmentally friendly products that are also save millions of dollars per year.

In 1993, Xerox created a product stewardship program that began by reprocessing still functioning parts from old office equipment into new parts. This is called the ‘end-of-life take-back program.’ In 1990, Xerox introduced its waste-free packaging system where it created two different extendable boxes that would be used to transport and take back equipment and would then be reprocessed after its life cycle. In 2006, Xerox introduced the re-usable or erasable paper, its biggest innovation yet.

Xerox created a product stewardship program in 1993 whose keystone program was the ‘end-of-life equipment take-back’ program. This program was first developed in Europe. Whenever possible, Xerox would take back machines that it had previously sold to companies and reprocess them into new parts. Previously, companies would specify that new items must be created from 100% new virgin materials. However, Xerox found that equipment that was not useful anymore still had parts that were still functioning. The process was as follows: Xerox would“Carefully dismantle equipment down to the base-unit level and then inspect and clean it in the base-unit-preparation stage. Thorough analysis determines each component’s remaining life. The company reprocesses re-usable components and test them to ensure that they meet Xerox’s standards and puts them back into the same assembly lines as virgin parts.”The company would then test the product thoroughly in an environment that resembles its final location. In 1997, Xerox reprocessed 3.8 million parts from 160,000 pieces of equipment. This process has been emulated over the years by a number of corporations.

Environmental benefits from this process include “an end-of-use collection process for customers, reduction of waste to landfills, the avoidance of raw material purchases and the associated use of energy, and the ability to produce environmentally sound equipment.” As well, parts reprocessing process is labor intensive and Xerox hired 400 additional staff. In addition, net savings totaled over 80$ million in Europe since disposal costs were transformed into revenue. To combat consumer hesitancy in procuring items that are not made from 100% virgin materials, Xerox offered 3 year guarantee on these products made from recycled materials, the same as its completely new materials. “Xerox’s approach was to build customer confidence. For example, Xerox Europe always maintained its focus on total customer satisfaction by combining environmental responsibility with stringent control over manufacturing processes. It offered a total three-year satisfaction guarantee on equipment containing reprocessed parts to demonstrate its confidence in its products, the same as that given on new equipment.”

Finally, Xerox, stopped distinguishing its products as new or built from manufactured parts and promised to have all new products created with both 100% new and manufactured or reprocessed parts.

A second eco-friendly innovation was the waste-free packaging program created in 1990. Xerox created two standard returnable boxes, one steel and one wood, that replace its 25 different disposable packaging boxes. These new, reusable boxes can be reused up to 25 times but were manufactured to last 10 cycles and can be extended to suit past, present and future products. At the end of their life cycle, Xerox will fix the wooden boxes and will reprocess the steel boxes. These totes “reduce disposal costs, increase operational productivity and reduce inventory.” In addition, using re-usable packaging reduces the cost to the consumer by $15 and its estimated annual savings in Europe were approximately $3.5 million. The program has been widely popular.

Xerox most current eco-friendly innovation is its creation of an erasable form of paper for copiers. The product has yet to be released for commercial use but Xerox believes that it may do so in the next few years. Brinda Dalal, an anthropologist at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center estimates that, “Of the 1,200 pages the average office worker prints per month, 44.5 percent are for daily use – assignments, drafts or e-mail. In her research, scouring the waste produced by office workers, she found that 21 percent of black-and-white copier documents were returned to the recycling bin on the same day they were produced.” That is why Xerox began developing a new technology that would allow paper to become re-usable. The new system produces documents on special yellow paper; the ink has no toner and is a purple tint. The ink then disappears within 16 hours and the process can be hastened by heating the paper. Currently, individual pieces of paper can be printed on up to 50 times but this number is only limited by the paper; if Xerox could create a type of paper that does not lose quality over time, then a paper could then be reprinted on indefinitely. “Xerox has not yet decided whether it will commercialize its technology, … but the goal is to create a system where the specially coated paper costs between two and three times standard copier paper, making the total cost of the system substantially less than conventional paper when paper is reused repeatedly.” The biggest challenge to this new technology will be to find a market. It is very promising and would reduce the amount of deforestation occurring in all the world’s forests by reducing the amount of paper being consumed.

Xerox continues to be an innovator in the areas of reducing waste and reducing the consummation of paper worldwide. It has also been a leader in allowing other companies to follow its lead in a shift to “green consumerism.” The erasable paper is by far its greatest achievement, one that will surely catch on in the future due greater demands from consumers to reduce waste and reduce deforestation by reducing the amount of paper consumed worldwide.

Accounting irregularities

On April 11, 2002, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint against Xerox. The complaint alleged Xerox deceived the public between 1997 and 2000 by employing several "accounting maneuvers," the most significant of which was a change in which Xerox recorded revenue from copy machine leases – recognizing a "sale" when the period of a lease contract was signed, instead of recognizing revenue notably over the entire length of the contract. At issue was when the revenue was recognized, not the validity of the revenue. Xerox's restatement only changed what year the revenue was stated.

In response to the SEC's complaint, Xerox Corporation neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing. It agreed to pay a $10 million penalty and to restate its financial results for the years 1997 through 2000. On June 5, 2003, six Xerox senior executives accused of securities fraud settled their issues with the SEC and neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing. They agreed to pay $22 million in penalties, disgorgement, and interest.

On January 29, 2003, the SEC filed a complaint against Xerox's auditors , KPMG, alleging four partners in the "Big Five" accounting firm permitted Xerox to "cook the books" to fill a $3 billion "gap" in revenue and $1.4 billion "gap" in pre-tax earnings. In April 2005 KPMG settled with the SEC by paying a US$22.48 million fine. As part of the settlement KPMG neither admits nor denies wrongdoing.

During settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Xerox began to revamp itself once more. As a symbol of this transformation, the relative size of the word "Xerox" was increased in proportion to "The Document Company" on the corporate signature and the latter was dropped altogether in September-2004, along with the digital X. However, the digital X and "The Document Company" were still used by Fuji Xerox until April-2008.


The word "xerox" is commonly used as a synonym for "photocopy" (both as a noun and a verb) in many areas; for example,"I xeroxed the document and placed it on your desk." or "Please make a xeroxed copy of the articles and hand them out a week before the exam". Though both are common, the company does not condone such uses of its trademark, and is particularly concerned about the ongoing use of Xerox as a verb as this places the trademark in danger of being declared a generic word by the courts. The company is engaged in an ongoing advertising and media campaign to convince the public that Xerox should not be used as a verb.

To this end, the company has written to publications that have used Xerox as a verb, and has also purchased print advertisements declaring that "you cannot 'xerox' a document, but you can copy it on a Xerox Brand copying machine". Xerox Corporation continues to protect its trademark diligently in most if not all trademark categories. Despite their efforts, many dictionaries continue to mention the use of "xerox" as a verb, including the Oxford English Dictionary.

In Indiamarker, Parle Agro's "Kaccha Mango Bite" candy ran a tagline claiming "Kacche Aam Ka Xerox" which means "Xerox of the raw mango". The tag was later modified to "Kacche Aam Ki Copy", which means "Copy of the Raw Mango."

In 2008, Xerox changed its logo to a red sphere with a white X with three grey stripes. The change is meant to reflect less on the photo copying duties Xerox has carried out and instead to refocus on document management and solutions across the world for companies.



  • David Owen, Copies in Seconds: How a Lone Inventor and an Unknown Company Created the Biggest Communication Breakthrough Since Gutenberg—Chester Carlson and the Birth of the Xerox Machine, Simon & Schuster, 2004, ISBN 978-0-7432-5117-4
  • Charles D. Ellis, Joe Wilson and the Creation of Xerox, Wiley, 2006, ISBN 978-0-4719-9835-8

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