Xerox boss John Visentin has died at age 59 after experiencing complications from an undisclosed “ongoing illness,” the company announced on Wednesday.
Xerox officials said that Visentin, the company’s CEO and vice chairman, had “unexpectedly passed away.” Xerox COO Steve Bandrowczak will serve as interim CEO.
“We are all greatly saddened by this tragic news and are keeping his family at the forefront of our thoughts in this difficult time,” Bandrowczak said in a statement. “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.”
Visentin became CEO of Xerox in May 2018. His appointment as chief executive and vice chairman stemmed from an agreement between Xerox’s board and activist investor Carl Icahn, who had opposed a plan to merge with Japan-based Fujifilm. Icahn remains Xerox’s largest shareholder.
Visentin led the company through a tumultuous period in which demand for printing services sagged during the COVID-19 pandemic. Xerox chairman James Nelson noted that Visentin had spearheaded a new focus on “digital and IT services, financial services and disruptive technologies” in recent years.
Under Visentin’s leadership, Xerox embarked on a $35 billion hostile takeover bid for Hewlett-Packard, but the company abandoned its course as the pandemic weighed on its business. Icahn held large stakes in both companies and had pushed for the deal to move forward.
Prior to his stint at Xerox, Visentin worked as an adviser at Apollo Global Management and as an executive at HP and IBM, according to his LinkedIn page.
“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 company said in a statement.
Xerox shares fell more than 2% in early trading Thursday during a broader downturn on the stock market. The company’s shares have declined more than 35% so far this year.
The Post has reached out to Xerox for further comment on Visentin’s illness.