Xerox Corp has lured IBM Corp number two Richard Thoman to work as its new president and chief operating officer under chief executive Paul Allaire. Thoman was chief financial officer at IBM, a post he took on in 1995, replacing Jerome York (CI No 2,743), but is more famous for the swingeing cuts he applied to the IBM Personal Computer Co, painful at the time but ultimately responsible for getting its costs and product schedules back into line. At Xerox he will be responsibe for day to day operations. Xerox, notorious for missing some of its best opportunities for selling commercial product, must be hoping that Thoman’s experience of the volume product market will rub off. Meanwhile, Xerox has finally acquired the remaining 20% stake of its European marketing arm Rank Xerox from the Rank Group for the equivalent of $1.5bn.