Family of Xerox founder 'saddened' by news of company sale
Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - For the first time, the family of the man who helped to build Xerox is responding to the news that Xerox is being taken over by Fujifilm.
Joseph Wilson developed the Xeroxography process and turned Xerox into a billion dollar company. He also became a key player in the Rochester community.
The joint venture between Xerox and Fujifilm was announced last week. Fuji will receive a 50.1% controlling share of Xerox in a $6.1 billion deal.
When asked to respond to the news of the Fuji-Xerox merger, the Wilson family said they were saddened.
"We are sure that Dad would have preferred to have the company he loved and worked so hard to build stay in the United States," the family said. "However, the relationship between Xerox, Dad and Fuji-Xerox was very strong."
A Xerox spokesperson says the company will have dual headquarters and one will remain in the United States.
The full statement can be read here:
In hearing the news that Xerox will no longer be a company headquartered in the United States, members of the Wilson family are deeply saddened. Our father loved this country and the Rochester community. Not only did he create a remarkable business, he forged a corporate culture that became a model throughout the world. That culture focused on Xerox’s relationship to its community and its social responsibilities to the country and the people who allowed it to flourish and grow.
In his Foreword to Charles Ellis’ 2006 biography, Joe Wilson and the Creation of Xerox, Joel Podolny, former Dean of the Yale School of Management asked, “Where have you gone, Joe Wilson?” He describes his concern that business leadership must be more than satisfying consumers, meeting strategic challenges, and creating shareholder value. It must also reflect the leader’s deeply held values.
Anne Mulcahy, former CEO of Xerox, in her Introduction to that biography, recounts those values as satisfying customers, empowering employees, deliver excellence in all that is done, requiring a premium return, using technology to deliver market leadership and behaving responsibly as a corporate citizen. In the 1960’s when Xerox was booming, it undertook a significant role in creating pathways into the company to citizens of color. Having endured the race riots in Rochester NY, our father understood that all corporations have a duty to address community problems, and must actually do something about it at the company level, the state level and the national level.
We are sure that Dad would have preferred to have the company he loved and worked so hard to build stay in the United States. However, the relationship between Xerox, Dad and Fuji-Xerox was very strong.
Setsutaro Kobyashi, the first CEO of Fuji-Xerox was a good friend of our father’s. Dad had the utmost respect and admiration for Mr. Kobyashi and the Fuji-Xerox team, in part because they shared the philosophy that corporations have a social responsibility. That continues to motivate Fuji Xerox to this day.
We wish them success in this new venture. Our hope is that the culture of social responsibility that Xerox was based on and that was so important to our father will continued in this new company.