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Xerox Turn-Around Leader Zimmerman To Speak at Tippie College of Business

Larry Zimmerman, who helped revive the printer giant Xerox as its chief financial officer, will discuss the Fortune 500 company's financial turn-around at the University of Iowa's Tippie College of Business on Friday, Nov. 9.

Zimmerman's lecture, part of the Tippie College's Knapp Leadership Lecture Series, begins at 11 a.m. in Room W401 in the Pappajohn Business Building. Admission is free and open to the public.

Zimmerman is widely praised for his leadership in reviving Xerox over the last five years. When he took over as CFO in 2002, the company had just been fined $10 million by the Securities and Exchange Commission for accounting irregularities. It was losing money and its stock, once one of the most stable on Wall Street, had tanked. The company had so much debt that some analysts predicted the firm was destined for bankruptcy.

Today the stock price has rebounded, debt load has been halved, innovative new products are being developed, and earnings have jumped 13 times to $1.2 billion.

Zimmerman attributes his success to not being flashy.

"Perseverance and resolve are 90 percent of the battle if you want to accomplish anything of worth," he told Fast Company magazine in 2002, shortly after becoming CFO. "I'm kind of an old-school person. I view my role as chief financial officer as conservative. I believe in sticking to your knitting."

Zimmerman, who was also appointed executive president of Xerox in April, is responsible for all of the company's finance, treasury, risk management, tax and audit operations.

Before joining Xerox, Zimmerman had held a variety of senior executive finance positions in a 31-year career at IBM. He was vice president of finance and planning for the company's multibillion-dollar Server and Technology division from 1996 to 1998, and vice president of finance of IBM's Europe, Middle East and Africa operations from 1994 to 1996.

Zimmerman earned a bachelor's degree in finance from New York University in 1965 and a master's degree in business administration from Adelphi University in 1967.


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