Profile: Sandra Bergeron
Master of Business Administration, 1989 Chairman of the board, TriCipher; chairman of the board, TraceSecurity, Saratoga, Calif.
The Road West | A native of Syracuse, N.Y., Bergeron grew up in Atlanta and brought a bachelor’s degree in information systems to Cincinnati to work for Burke Marketing Services. While at Burke, she decided to pursue an M.B.A.
Shifting Gears | A software engineer by training, Bergeron spent the last 11 years working in the computer software and network security industry and for the past three years has lived in California’s Silicon Valley. In 1995, she was working for Santa Clara, Calif.-based McAfee, managing software engineers who were developing computer and network security systems when she was tapped to be the company’s senior vice president for U.S. sales.
M.B.A. Edge | Bergeron says it’s unusual for a software engineer to make a move into sales. “One of the reasons I was able to do that is that I had an M.B.A. So my M.B.A. from Xavier equipped me to broaden my career and not just get labeled a technical person.”
Corporate Planner | In 1997, McAfee merged with another company to become Network Associates, and Bergeron took over the new company’s security business unit as executive vice president of strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions. During that period, the company, which returned to the McAfee name in 2004, bought seven companies and divested four business lines.
Executive Mom | In 2003, Bergeron started a family—she now has three children under 3 years of age. “That’s the most important job I’ll ever have, being a parent,” she says. As a result, she decided to retire in 2005.
Moving On | Retirement in Bergeron’s case doesn’t include slowing down. She’s currently chairman of the board for two information security companies: TriCipher, which is involved with online authentication software, and TraceSecurity, which focuses on corporate security compliance management. For good measure, she also sits on the boards of two other security firms, the ArcSight Co. and Qualys.
Accolades for Excellence | Bergeron is considered one of the most influential women in information security and was named one of Information Security magazine’s “Top 25 Women of Vision” in 2003. She was also selected as the 2005 recipient of the alumni technology leadership award at her undergraduate alma mater, Georgia State University.
X-panding Reputation | Bergeron often encounters people in California “who recognize Xavier when they see I have an M.B.A. from there. The University has more recognition than we give it credit for.”