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When little sister becomes your boss (Wall Street Journal article)

July 25, 2011

From the Wall Street Journal article Power Couple: Meet the Sister CEOs writer Joann S. Lublin highlights the careers of US sibling executives.

Women in Leadership Institute keynote speaker Anne Mulcahy and her brother Thomas J. Dolan discuss what it’s like when your little sister becomes your boss.

“…Anne Mulcahy supervised her older brother Thomas J. Dolan for nearly six years—even writing his performance reviews—after advancing to the corner office in 2001. Mr. Dolan headed a major unit, responsible for nearly a third of the company’s revenue at the time, and feared he would have to resign.

“It would have been tough if he walked out the door,” says Ms. Mulcahy.

During meetings, “Anne was tougher on me than anyone else,” Mr. Dolan says. The Xerox leader even criticized him in private. While Mr. Dolan was running a different unit, the siblings decided to spend a weekend together in Vero Beach, Fla. Mr. Dolan says they were sipping wine on the corporate jet headed there when his sister demanded, “Get this division moving faster.” Mr. Dolan got a new boss in spring 2007, when Xerox named a separate president, Ursula Burns. She succeeded Ms. Mulcahy as CEO in July 2009. He retired at the end of that year. In May 2010, Mr. Dolan attended a Xerox dinner honoring his sister. They hugged each other and simultaneously exclaimed, “We did it!” He says the comment celebrated the survival of their sibling relationship. “That was important.”

To read the rest of Joann Lublin’s article, click here

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