Linda S. Sanford
Trustee Emeritus, Rensselaer Board of Trustees
Active Trustee: 1997-2017
Linda Sanford retired on Dec. 31, 2014, from her position at IBM where she led the strategy for internal transformation to the premier globally integrated enterprise. In this role, 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.
Previously Sanford was senior vice president and group executive, IBM Storage Systems Group, where she helped take IBM from fifth place in storage market share to second in two years. Prior to assuming that position, she 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, Sanford 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.
One of the highest-ranking women at IBM, Sanford is a member of the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame and 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 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.
Sanford serves on the Board of Directors of the Partnership for New York City, ITT Industries, St. John's University, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She 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
Sanford 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.
A graduate of St. John's University, Sanford earned an M.S. in operations research from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and was awarded an honorary doctorate in commercial science from St. John’s.