Who is Xerox’s New CEO John Visentin?
The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle recently profiled “Giovanni” John Visentin who is set to be the next CEO of Xerox and vice chairman of the Xerox Board of Directors, with the resignation of current Xerox CEO Jeff Jacobson.
What we know is that Visentin has served as an executive with both Hewlett-Packard and IBM, and in March 2018, was recruited by Carl Icahn to serve as a consultant to Icahn’s bid to stop the proposed Xerox-Fuji Xerox merger. According to the Democrat and Chronicle, he spent 27 years working for IBM in various positions, starting as a sales manager for IBM Canada in the mid-1980s (Visentin holds a bachelor of commerce degree from Concordia University in Montreal), eventually serving as global vice president of end-user services and general manager of integrated technology services for North America.
In 2011, Visentin left IBM to work for Hewlett-Packard, where he was executive vice president and general manager of HP’s Enterprise Services division.
More recently, he served as CEO of Novitex Enterprise Solutions, a company that specializing in document outsourcing, communications, and back-office solutions.
In July 2017, Visentin helped to complete a merger between Novitex and SourceHOV, a business-information management company.
Those companies combined to form a new venture, Exela Technologies, which had $1.5 billion in annual revenues and customers in 55 countries.
What’s noteworthy is that yesterday, Reuters reported that buyout-firm Apollo Global Management approached Xerox, expressing interest in a possible acquisition. Visentin was previously CEO of Novitex Enterprise Solutions and also chairman of Presidio Inc, two companies in which Apollo invested.
Work with Icahn Capital
As noted, in March 2018, Carl Icahn announced that he had hired Visentin as a consultant, “both in connection with the upcoming proxy contests and to explore strategic alternatives for Xerox on our behalf,” as Icahn sought to stop the Xerox-Fuji Xerox merger and replace Xerox CEO Jeff Jacobosn.
Icahn noted Visentin’s experience as an executive, “specifically when it comes to revamping complex operations with prior managerial shortcomings in the IT services industry to consistently drive profitable growth.”
According to Icahn, Visentin had the skills that would help Xerox shareholders understand why the proposed merger with Fuji Xerox was a bad idea, and that a new management team would be better for Xerox.
Successful Defense of Non-Compete Contract
According to the Democrat and Chronicle, when Visentin left IBM in 2011 to work for Hewlett-Packard, IBM asked a federal court to issue an injunction blocking his move. They argued that a non-compete clause in Visentin’s contract said he could not work for a competitor for 12 months after leaving IBM. The court declined to issue an injunction, a decision that was upheld on appeal.
According to The Democrat and Chronicle:
“The case set important new precedents for the enforcement of non-compete agreements, which were becoming standard in the technology field.
“The court acknowledged that non-compete agreements could be enforced in some cases, but ruled that overly broad agreements would not be enforced. The ruling put the burden on former employers to demonstrate with specificity that its confidential information or trade secrets would be compromised.”
- May 2018: In Stunning Reversal, Xerox Yields to Deason and Icahn in Far-Reaching Settlement
- April 2018: Preliminary Injunction Blocks Proposed Xerox-Fujifilm Deal
- April 2018: Court Papers Show Conflicted Xerox Board
- April 2018: Icahn, Deason, Accuse Fujifilm, Xerox CEO of Deceiving Xerox Board
- April 2018: Deason, Icahn, Urge Xerox Partnership with HP, Apple, Others, Monetization of IP
- April 2018: Deason Alleges Xerox CEO Disregarded Board in Pursuing Fujifilm Deal
- March 2018: Icahn Recruits Former IBM, HP Exec in Continuing Bid to Stop Xerox-Fuji Xerox Merger
- March 2018: Deason Sues to Replace Xerox Board; New Joint Deason-Icahn Letter
- February 2018: Icahn, Deason Propose Sale of Xerox to Competitor or Private-Equity Firm
- February 2018: Xerox Responds to Icahn, Deason’s ‘Misguided Campaign’ to Undermine Proposed Fuji Xerox Merger
- February 2018: Seeking to Derail Xerox Merger, Deason Demands to Nominate New Directors to Xerox Board
- February 2018: Deason Files Lawsuit to Block Fujifilm Takeover of Xerox; Xerox Responds to Criticism
- January 2018: Xerox and Fujifilm Announce Agreement for Xerox to Merge with Fuji Xerox