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Xerox CEO faces suit after pushing Fujifilm deal

Xerox (XRX) chief Jeff Jacobson faces a fresh lawsuit from a major shareholder of the company for pursuing a deal with Japan’s Fujifilm even after the board advised him to drop negotiations.

The CEO was often blamed for his alleged underperformance during his tenure, with the company even considering firing him. It was then that the company struck a deal with Fujifilm. This deal grabbed the spotlight and was seen as one of those transactions that could help Jacobson keep his job. However, he was suggested to stop all dealings with the Japanese firm.

The new lawsuit filed by a major shareholder, Darwin Deason, suggests that Jacobson went ahead and chased the deal, thereby going against the board, a report by the Wall Street Journal alleged. The company, however, flatly denied these allegations.

According to the lawsuit, Jacobson — who replaced Ursula Burns — rushed with the deal as he would gain a major control as a CEO once the merger took place. This was highly criticized by Deason as well as Carl Icahn — who are aggressively working towards introducing major changes at the company.

In January this year, Deason opposed the $6.1-billion deal between Fujifilm and Xerox stating the agreement undervalued Xerox. Yet, The US company went ahead signing the deal with its old joint-venture partner Fuji Xerox, with an aim to optimize expenses in a declining office printing equipment market.

Despite all these claims and allegations, Jacobson continues to be the CEO of the company, thanks to the deal. But it has clearly created a rift between the management and the board, which is expected to have grave repercussions in the coming days.

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