Xerox CEO John Visentin Dies, Aged 59

The CEO and vice chairman of Xerox has unexpectedly passed away, the printer giant confirmed on Wednesday.

Xerox announced that John Visentin unexpectedly passed away on Tuesday, due to “complications from an ongoing illness.”

“The Xerox family is profoundly saddened by this untimely event and extends its heartfelt condolences to John’s wife, his five daughters and his family,” the firm said.

John Visentin

John Visentin joined Xerox in May 2018 and sought to expand Xerox’s position in office and production print technology.

“John was passionate about his workforce and an inclusive leader known for his ‘One Boat, One Team’ call to action and mentality,” said the firm.

Steve Bandrowczak, Xerox’s President and Chief Operations Officer since 2018, will serve as Interim CEO.

“Since joining the company in May 2018, John drove Xerox forward.” noted James Nelson, chairman of Xerox’s Board of Directors. “As a champion for innovation, he embraced and enhanced Xerox’s legacy as a print and services provider and embarked on a transformative journey that broadened the company’s expertise and offerings to digital and IT services, financial services and disruptive technologies.”

“John’s drive, energy and commitment to the business and its customers, partners and employees will be greatly missed, Nelson added. “Steve has the active and full support of the Board of Directors and the entire management team in carrying out his duties.”

“We are all greatly saddened by this tragic news and are keeping his family at the forefront of our thoughts in this difficult time,” said Steve Bandrowczak.

Steve Bandrowczak, Xerox

“John’s vision was clear, and the Xerox team will continue fulfilling it – not only to deliver on our commitments to our shareholders, customers and partners – but also to pursue John’s legacy.”

HP takeover attempt

John Visentin rose to prominence in late 2019 and early 2020 when he led Xerox’s hostile takeover bid for PC giant HP, after it made good its threat to approach HP shareholders directly with its leveraged buyout offer.

Xerox had initially set a deadline of 25 November 2019 for HP’s board of directors to respond to Xerox’s $33.5bn buyout offer for the PC maker.

But HP’s board refused to engage with Xerox and failed to open its books so Xerox could conduct due diligence.

The hostile takeover approach came after activist investor Carl Icahn had acquired a $1.2 billion stake in HP and pushed for the proposed union of Xerox and HP, arguing that a combination of the printer makers could yield big profits for investors.

HP continued to resist the hostile approach and in April 2020 Xerox withdraw its $35 billion bid to acquire HP, blaming the Covid-19 pandemic for creating “an environment that is not conducive to Xerox continuing to pursue an acquisition of HP.”

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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