2 TOP XEROX EXEC’s PASS AWAY
2 TOP XEROX EXEC’s PASS AWAY
2006-12-26 at 4:03:00 pm #16864
McColough, former top Xerox exec, dies at 84
as ‘giant in business,’ sales soared under his leadership C. Peter
McColough, the executive who led Xerox Corp. through more than a decade
of dramatic growth and sometimes turbulent change, was remembered
Monday as a man who helped turn the company into an international
giant.Mr. McColough, 84, died Wednesday in Rye Brook, Westchester
County. The cause was cardiac arrest after a long illness, said his
son, Andrew McColough.”I know I speak for the entire Xerox family when
I say how deeply saddened we all are to hear of Peter’s passing,” said
Anne M. Mulcahy, the current chairwoman and chief executive officer.
“He led our company through a period of explosive growth and global
expansion. Perhaps more importantly, he took the values of our founder
and deeply embedded them in our culture.”He was a giant in business and
politics, a citizen of the world and a deeply committed family man.”As
the hand-picked successor of Xerox founder Joseph C. Wilson, Mr.
McColough served as chief executive from 1968 until retiring in 1982.
He took the title of chairman in 1971 after Wilson’s death.During Mr.
McColough’s tenure as CEO, Xerox sales soared almost tenfold, from $896
million to more than $8.7 billion. The stock price peaked at more than
$171 a share in 1973.He also moved corporate headquarters from Xerox’s
Rochester birthplace to Stamford, Conn. The move brought the
headquarters closer to the New York City financial community and saved
money because of lower Connecticut taxes.He is credited with expanding
Xerox’s sales force and global reach. He also saw the need for Xerox to
adapt to the age of computers and change to battle competition from
overseas manufacturers. One result of that vision: Xerox’s famed Palo
Alto Research Center in California.Before ascending to the top spot in
the company, he helped create the pricing strategy that made Xerox
copiers marketable. His marketing team decided to lease the expensive
machines and charge customers based on how much they copied.Charles
Ellis, author of a recent biography of Wilson, interviewed Mr.
McColough for the book. “He was a delightful person and fun to be
with,” Ellis said.The author gave Mr. McColough credit for helping
build Xerox’s sales team into an international force. However, Mr.
McColough also faced many challenges that put pressure on Xerox.
Competitors ate away at the company’s once-dominant market share, and
many of the research center’s inventions ended up being popularized by
other companies.A merger with Scientific Data Systems, designed to help
bring Xerox into the digital age, lost more than $500 million for the
company after the $1.5 billion acquisition.Mr. McColough was succeeded
as CEO by David T. Kearns. In his 1992 book, Prophets in the Dark,
Kearns called Mr. McColough a “broad thinker willing to take risks ….
His talent was in getting others to think and do.”Charles Peter
McColough was born Aug. 1, 1922, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He served as
an airman with the British navy in World War II. He then received a law
degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax and a master’s in business
from Harvard University.He joined what was then Haloid Co. in 1954 and
rose quickly through the ranks.Mr. McColough also became a prominent
philanthropist, serving as chairman of the United Way of America. He
held posts on a variety of other corporate boards.Mr. McColough served
nearly two years as treasurer of the Democratic National Committee and
actively worked in several presidential campaigns.Despite his hectic
life, Mr. McColough was dedicated to his family, his son said. He was
also open about the challenges and growth at Xerox, and dinnertime
conversation often turned to business, Andrew McColough said.”We just
had some incredible family experiences. He was very much a family
man.”Often the family world and Mr. McColough’s public life
intertwined. Andrew McColough remembers his father asking him to take
Sen. Henry M. Jackson, D-Wash., to the airport after a Jackson
presidential fundraiser at the McColough home.”Here I am, this
17-year-old kid with long hair, driving Scoop Jackson to LaGuardia in
the Country Squire wagon.” Andrew McColough said. “Talk about
dichotomy.”In addition to Andrew, Mr. McColough is survived by his wife
of 53 years, Virginia; son Ian and daughter Virginia Keeshan; a sister,
Patricia Wallace; and seven grandchildren. Two children, Peter Charles
and Robert, preceded him in death.
David Curtin, ad executive at Xerox, is dead
Corp. lost another well-known executive last week.David Curtin, 85, the
company’s longtime public relations director, died Thursday.Curtin
worked at Xerox for 26 years, beginning in 1957 as assistant to the
president. He was named public relations director in 1963 and retired
in 1982 as vice president of corporate programs.Before joining Xerox,
Curtin served as a news and sports broadcaster for several Rochester
radio stations, which included doing play-by-play of Red Wings baseball
games. He also worked in advertising for Genesee Brewing Co.He was a
graduate of Aquinas Institute and the University of Notre Dame, and was
a World War II veteran.When Curtin retired, then-Xerox President David
T. Kearns said he “developed for Xerox one of the finest public images
of any major corporation anywhere.”Survivors include his wife, Nancy,
three sons, a daughter and a stepdaughter.