Linda Sanford [1953 – ]
Linda S. Sanford has been a role model for technical women throughout IBM, acting as a mentor for young women throughout the company. She has participated in many activities outside IBM to increase the ranks of young women pursuing science, technology, and engineering fields.
Linda graduated from St. John’s University. She holds a MS in operations research from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In 2018, a new computer lab was dedicated in honor of Linda and her family at St. John’s University, where she also holds an honorary doctorate in commercial science.
Career Linda retired from IBM on December 31, 2014, where she was the Senior Vice President of Enterprise Transformation. She led the strategy for internal transformation to the premier globally integrated enterprise. She was responsible for working across IBM to transform core business processes, created an IT infrastructure to support and integrate processes globally, and helped to create a culture that fosters innovation.
As Senior Vice President and Group Executive of the IBM Storage Systems Group, Linda helped take IBM from fifth place in storage market share to second in two years. Prior to assuming that position, Linda headed IBM Global Industries, the organization that manages relationships with IBM’s largest customers worldwide and is responsible for generating almost 70 percent of IBM’s revenue.
Before that, Linda was General Manager of the S/390 Division at IBM, which develops, manufactures and markets large-enterprise systems. During the early 1990s, she guided the S/390 Division through one of the most comprehensive product transformations the computer industry has ever seen, reinventing S/390 as an open, enterprise-level server.
Other Affiliations Linda serves on the Board of Directors of the Partnership for New York City, ITT Industries, St. John’s University, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She also serves on the Board of Trustees for The State University of New York and formerly served as chairman of The Business Council of New York State, Inc.
Linda was inducted into the Women in Technology Hall of Fame in 1996. She is also a member of the National Academy of Engineering. Linda has been named one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Business by Fortune Magazine, one of the Top Ten Innovators in the Technology Industry by Information Week magazine, one of the Ten Most Influential Women in Technology by Working Woman magazine, and one of the Top 15 Women in Business by PINK magazine.
Linda co-authored “Let Go To Grow: Escaping the Commodity Trap,” a book that details how successful companies are pursuing strategies to drive long-term growth and innovation. The book was published by Prentice Hall in December 2005.
Scholarship The IBM Linda Sanford Women’s Technical Advancement Scholarship was endowed in 2015. It supports reentry and non-traditional students studying computer engineering, computer science, engineering technology, and mathematics.
Number Available: 1
Major: CprE, CS, ET, Math/Analytics
Renewable: 5 Years
Minimum 3.5 out of 4 GPA.