Ursula Burns came to Xerox in 1980 as a summer mechanical engineering intern. Her story is an unlikely one: the child of a single mother, she grew up in a New York City housing project in the 1960s. In 2009, she became the first African American woman to become CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
Burns rose through ranks at Xerox, playing an instrumental role in bringing the company back from the brink of bankruptcy in 2001. Not one to rest on her laurels, in 2010 Burns led Xerox in its $6 billion acquisition of Affiliated Computer Services. The move made Xerox the world's leading business process and document management company. And it gave total revenue a huge boost -- in 2010 the company brought in $21.6 billion, up 43% from 2009.