Mulcahy: Economic Advisor Position 'Not a Good Fit'


Former Xerox CEO Anne M. Mulcahy will not be taking over as director of President Obama's National Economic Council, she confirmed to CNBC.

Anne Mulcahy
Source: xerox.com

Speculation had been swirling that Mulcahy was on the short list to replace Larry Summers in the key advisory role, but she squelched talk of that during an interview Thursday morning.

"They're looking to obviously have more CEO and business representation. They'd love to have more women in the administration. So do the search on women CEOs (who are) Democrats, you come up with a short list of people," she said. "I think that's not a good fit for me. I think I have a role right now. My plate's pretty full."

Mulcahy, in fact, was critical of the administration on several fronts, particularly on the issue of taxing overseas profits and in generally acting on concerns from business.

In addition to her position with Xerox, Mulcahy sits on the board of a number of other major corporations.

Though she shares the president's political party, Mulcahy said she is concerned by its approach to business. She said the administration has been quick to listen to concerns from industry but slow to act.

"I actually believe that they have developed a menu of approaches that they believe they've got to put in place. They've been somewhat focused and immovable on those issues," she said. "Secondly, I don't think there is a loud enough voice—voices—in the administration to have enough influence to get some of those issues off the table."

One of the main concerns she expressed was a likely effort from the administration to eliminate tax deferrals on profits earned overseas.

Multinationals depend on the ability to defer on those taxes, which the administration has proposed cutting as a way to close to budget deficit.

"If you're a global company you are going to have jobs overseas," Mulcahy said. "The reality is if we start taxing those jobs at a rate that makes them noncompetitive in those markets, the reality is that we're going to lose business."

The issue goes to a perceived unwillingness by the administration to address the concerns of big business, she said.

"There's been lots of dialogue on this," she said. "There appears to be a level of listening but not then a responsiveness to this."