5. Ursula Burns, Xerox
Ursula Burns is one of the most successful businesswomen due to her tenure at Xerox. Besides being the first African-American woman to chair a Fortune 500 company, Burns pushed for the acquisition of Affiliated Computer Services. In 2013, Xerox shareholders enjoyed a $1.09 per share return on their investment, an increase from the previous year. Burns is known for turning a Xerox, renowned for its photocopying machines, into a viable player in the age of the paperless office.
Burns has had to preside over some tough times at Xerox. There have been some layoffs in recent years, as well as some stagnation, but Burns’s leadership has transformed Xerox into one of the most profitable companies in the country.