Ursula Burns the current CEO at Xerox Corp will hand over that title when the company of 110 years splits into two later in 2016.
Burns, who is 57, has worked her entire career at the company. She moved up from her internship back in 1980 to become the first woman of color to lead a company in the Fortune 500.
She is one of just 20 women who hold the position of CEO at a company in the S&P 500 as of early February/.
The voice of the CEO wavered briefly on Friday during her annual address to shareholders in Connecticut. At the meeting, there were a small number of executives and investors that she called a sad day for herself, buy a happy one as well.
She is to continue on as chairwoman and CEO until the split and will be the chairperson of the legacy hardware businesses under the soon to be new structure.
Since 2009, Burns has been the CEO and announced in January plans to the company into two companies that are publicly traded.
One will manage and sell office machines while the other is going to provide services that are back-office.
This move creates a document technology business which looks similar to one Burns took over after becoming CEO.
The results from Xerox last year were hit hard by major contracts that the company failed to completely fulfill.
Burns said that her decision making process was grounded in making what was the best decision for Xerox and for her, personally in that same order.
Burns is also a member of the board of Exxon Mobil Corp and American Express Co.
Burns was raised in New York City by a single mother in the housing projects. She attended Polytechnic Institute of New York to study mechanical in engineering. She also received a master’s degree at Columbia University.
The veteran at Xerox was leaning toward taking the top job at the document company since the new proposal was given to her.
Burns will have a board seat with Xerox, a business services diction that will include reps of Carl Icahn the activist investor.
Burns warned on Friday that more layoffs were definitely coming. We have and are going to continue shedding jobs, said Burns. That is done to keep the employees happy.
Xerox is planning to cut $700 million from its annual costs in 2016. It already cut 8,300 jobs over the first three months of 2015.