Provost's Lecture Series on Women in Leadership: Linda S. Sanford

The Transformative Leader: Strategies for Leading in Times of Change

Linda S. Sanford, IBM Senior Vice President, Enterprise Transformation

ABSTRACTLinda S. Sanford, IBM Senior Vice President, Enterprise Transformation

In the past several years advances in technology and a sustained period of sluggish economic growth have disrupted industry landscapes permanently. And yet this period of discontinuity is also a period of opportunity – for exceptional leaders. New leaders are emerging who have the ability to guide their organizations through a challenging period and arrive stronger on the other side.

What characteristics do these leaders share? How are they applying technology creatively to make smarter decisions? How are they inspiring their people to accomplish game-changing innovation in a time of uncertainty?

Linda Sanford – who rose through the engineering ranks to become a senior leader at IBM – reflected on her own experience leading major change efforts inside her organization and working with change leaders at organizations around the world.


Linda Sanford 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. Prior to her current role, Ms. Sanford was Senior Vice President & Group Executive, IBM Storage Systems Group, where she helped take IBM from fifth place in storage market share to second in two years. She also headed IBM Global Industries. During the 1990s, Ms. Sanford guided the S/390 Division through one of the most comprehensive and successful product transformations the computer industry has ever seen, reinventing S/390 as an open, enterprise-level server.

Ms. 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, and one of the Ten Most Influential Women in Technology by Working Woman Magazine.

Ms. 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.




Wednesday, October 15, 2014
4-5 p.m.
Babbio 122
Stevens Institute of Technology
Online via Blackboard Collaborate