Senior VP, Enterprise on Demand Transformation & Information Technology, IBM
Inducted in 1996
Linda Sanford is one of the highest-ranking women at IBM. Her roles have included general manager of IBM’s S/390 Division, overseer of IBM Global Industries, and senior vice president and group executive for IBM Storage Systems Group. Linda 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.
As general manager of IBM’s System/390 Division, Linda drove the development, manufacturing, and marketing of 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. Linda then headed up IBM Global Industries, the organization that manages relationships with IBM’s largest customers worldwide and is responsible for generating almost 70% of IBM’s revenue.
Linda was senior vice president and group executive for IBM Storage Systems Group, where she helped take IBM from fifth place in storage market share to second in two years. Linda also 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. Prentice Hall published the book in December 2005.
Linda is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. She 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 "InformationWeek" magazine, and one of the Ten Most Influential Women in Technology by "Working Woman" magazine.
As a graduate of St. John’s University, Linda earned a master of science in Operations Research from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and was awarded an honorary doctorate in commercial science from St. John’s. Linda has two grown children who have launched their careers in recent years. Currently, Linda is co-chairwoman of The Business Council of New York State, Inc.
She serves on the board of directors of the Partnership for New York City, ITT Industries, St. John’s University, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Linda leads the strategy for IBM’s internal transformation to the premier, globally integrated enterprise. In this role, she is responsible for working across IBM to transform core business processes, create an IT infrastructure to support and integrate processes globally, and help create a culture that fosters innovation.