Xerox announced Friday it will split into two publicly traded companies and give Carl Icahn three board seats, but CEO Ursula Burns insisted that the billionaire investor was not the driving force in the decision.
Xerox shares were flat in premarket trading after surging 5 percent immediately following the announcement. (Get the latest quote here.)
"We're happy that he is in support of it, but he had nothing to do with the initiation, the contemplation, the analysis, or any discussion around the deal," Burns told CNBC's "Squawk Box," referring to Icahn. "We are happy that he is in agreement with it, but he did not drive it, as is being reported in the news."
Icahn said on Friday he has a 9.12 percent stake in Xerox up from 8.13 percent stake reported in December.
Burns said Xerox initiated a review of its structure and portfolio in October to address changes it saw in the market. Xerox did not hold conversations with Icahn prior to the review or before it made a decision, she said.
Xerox will be divided into a business process outsourcing operation and a document technology company.
Burns said her role in either company has not yet been determined. That decision was intentionally put on hold, but now that Xerox is in the implementation phase, it will begin to hold discussions about the leadership of the two firms, she said.
"What I wanted our board, and management team, and me to do [was to determine] what the best path for the … company is going forward, not what the best role is for me," she said.
The printer and copier maker will give Icahn three seats on the board of the business process outsourcing company. He holds an 8.13 percent stake in Xerox.