Industry experts and retirees are weighing in on Wednesday's news that Fuji and Xerox will merge, with the Japanese company taking a controlling interest in the new venture.
A question on the minds of many in Rochester is how many jobs could be lost during the transition to the new company, Fuji Xerox.
Frank Romano, a printing expert and professor emeritus at RIT, does not believe manufacturing jobs in Webster will be targeted, but he does think the new company will eliminate redundancies in its sales force. "Because there's no need for duplication Fuji Xerox and also Xerox sales people in other parts of the world,” Romano said. “I've given speeches for Xerox, Fuji Xerox, Canon, and others overseas, so I've seen the duplication of effort that occurs in Dubai, Singapore, and many other places. I think that's where jobs will be lost over some period of time."
Romano believes the two companies have the right blend of abilities on both sides to make a successful venture possible.
"They had a very wonderful relationship with Fuji Xerox over the years with a lot of technology being developed co-jointly in Japan and Webster and by putting them together now, and because Fuji Xerox is also somewhat diversified into many areas of technology, I think this is a win-win for everybody."
We're also getting reaction to the news from Xerox retirees.
Dick Green worked with the company for 17 years. Now, he is the Operating Officer of the Xerox Alumni Association.
Green has a positive perspective on the move. He says he's always heard good things about Fuji.
"I heard they treat their people well. So I think for the sake of the Xerox people that may be very good. I hope it doesn’t have a negative effect on Rochester."
Barbara Colucci of Penfield worked at Xerox for 32 years until her retirement in 2006. She is feeling nostalgic about the company since hearing the news of the merger.
"I know the jury's still out on the long term implications to the company and to the employees but Xerox has been changing constantly since I started my career and more so since I retired. I just empathize very much with those who had hoped to make this a lifetime career as I had."
Green hopes the rebranding brings some new energy to the Xerox. He said alumni events and memberships have been dwindling since the 1990s. "Our alumni group relates better to the old Xerox than the present Xerox,” he said. “And that’s because we thought it was a great company in those days."
At the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, President & CEO Bob Duffy says initially when he heard about the deal, he had concerns, but after speaking with a Xerox executive, he's now feeling better about the deal.
“There is a sense that this is a very positive thing for Xerox. The combination of Xerox and Fuji will tend to make this company stronger, it will make them stronger with technology, with products, with service delivery systems," Duffy told WXXI News. Duffy also has advocated for having Xerox return its headquarters to Rochester. It's been in Connecticut since the late 1960s, and Duffy says he will continue to push for the company coming back here, he believes Xerox could save money by doing that.