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Michael Mac Donald

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He's only been in his current position for one year, but Michael Mac Donald is no Xerox newbie. For nearly three decades, he's risen through the corporate ranks. Now, he's parlayed much of that experience into his achievements as president-global accounts and marketing operations.

His long-standing relationships with a wide range of Xerox executives help facilitate one of his primary goals: to create consistency worldwide, with both the company's brand and suppliers.

"When you immediately have credibility [with Xerox executives in other regions], it helps you implement programs on a global basis," he said.

For example, Young & Rubicam previously handled Xerox advertising in all regions except India. As of this year, Y&R is responsible for India, too.

Within the past year, the company's global accounts have doubled to 36. Sports sponsorship is part of the international marketing mix: A new effort this year had Xerox sponsoring a soccer team in Moscow, as well as a Ducati racing team in Europe.

The company continues to look for new ways to update its image, Mac Donald said. "The older Xerox was always known as `dependable, reliable.' We want to portray a vibrant, savvy company-something a little younger," he said.

The need for effective collaboration and decision-making is another priority. In years past, the company's executive marketing council, representing the top 40 marketing executives in all divisions, would meet for two days each quarter to re-evaluate strategy and spending. But Mac Donald recognized that a smaller, higher-level group could make decisions faster. Now, the council meets only one day each quarter. A second meeting day is devoted to the council's steering committee, comprising Mac Donald and the top 10 marketing executives. "If we feel we're spending too much on direct marketing for a campaign but not enough on advertising, we can identify those issues and make changes more quickly," he said.

Mac Donald's job responsibilities also include improving the customer experience. To that end, his team recently reconsidered the purpose of Xerox.com. Their conclusion: It should be a two-way conversation, not a passive library of spec sheets. This year, the company started a program called TeleWeb, allowing sales reps who work with customers remotely to use the Web to provide purchasing guidance. Through the company site, the reps can conduct product demos online, take orders directly or put customers in touch with the appropriate Xerox reps and channel partners.

Mac Donald joined Xerox in 1977 as a district sales manager and has been promoted through the ranks of sales and marketing management. Most recently, he was president of the North American Solutions Group, where he was responsible for all products and services sold by the Xerox direct sales force in the U.S. and Canada.

-Sandra Swanson

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