Originating from a very small farming (pop. 458) town in Upstate NY, Nora Denzel has spent over 20 years working in technology in Silicon Valley. She is passionate about helping young women in the area and serves on the boards of the YWCA of Silicon Valley and the Anita Borg Institute (an organization dedicated to helping young women enter and stay in careers in computing because gender-diverse software teams perform better).
Condensed Career Summary
Multiple Board Member (2012 - present) - Multiple Board Member
- Board Member of: Coinstar
(NASDAQ: CSTR), Saba
(NASDAQ: SABA), FirstRain
, the YWCA of Silicon Valley
and the Anita Borg Institute
(an organization dedicated to the attraction to and advancement of women in computing careers.)
- Also serve on the advisory boards of several start up companies such as Contural
Intuit (2008 - 2012)
-The makers of TurboTax, QuickBooks, GoPayments and other financial products for consumers and small businesses
- SVP of Marketing, Big Data and Intuit's Social Initiative
- SVP and General Manager of QuickBooks' Payroll, an over $400M SaaS business unit
Sabbatical ( 2006 - 2008)
spent 1/3 time with family and friends, 1/3 time traveling the world with my husband and 1/3 time working on public and private boards, speaking and consulting. Learned a huge lesson: 'Everyone dies, but not everyone really lives.' I think someone actually said that...but I am not sure who. But it's a mantra of mine along with making sure that I am adhering to a 'regret minimization strategy' with my life. It's not what I did that I will regret--- it's what I didn't do.
Hewlett Packard (2000 - 2006)
- SVP of Global Software Business Unit - Over $1B software business unit
- SVP of Global Consulting Business Unit - Over $3B of consulting business
- SVP of Global Computer Storage Business Unit - Over $2B of a hardware/software business
Legato Systems - a storage management software company, now a part of EMC (1997 - 2000)
- SVP Product Operations - lead all engineering, technical support, product marketing and product management
IBM (1984 - 1997)
- Director of Storage Software Products World Wide
- Many positions of increasing responsibility beginning as a software engineer
Longer Career Summary
Nora grew up on a large beef cattle farm in upstate NY. She learned about Polled Herefords (a breed of beef cattle), raising pigs, sheep and chickens, and animal husbandry.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s personal computers were just getting their start and Nora was exposed to early computers such as Tandy's TRS 80 and the Commodore Vic 20. She started by writing some BASIC computer programs and was hooked. She self-financed her undergraduate BS in CS degree by tutoring in Computer Science and Math, being a resident assistant in the dorm, and programming for IBM in Westchester, NY.
First Professional Job
Nora was a software engineer for IBM's family of computer storage management software products. She started programming on an IBM Mainframe in a language called PL/S, followed by Assembly language. She transitioned to IBM Marketing where she worked on positioning and promotion of IBM's offerings in storage management software before going into engineering management.
Nora became an engineering manager for many storage-software-related projects including UNIX device drivers, Graphical Interface Design for storage management software and one of IBM's first software suites that worked on non-IBM hardware. During that time, IBM financed her MBA from Santa Clara University.
She transitioned into managing business planning and channel enablement all while still at IBM. She was eventually promoted to the position of Business Line Manager for IBM's family of storage management software products before deciding to leave the company due to her next position being in upstate NY.
Three more jobs -- and a sabbatical
Nora then went to Legato Systems, a newly public software company with abut 300 people and $50M in revenue. At Legato, she reported to the CEO as the SVP of Product Operations
(Engineering, CTO office, Technical support, Product Management and
Product Marketing). It was funded by both Greylock and Mayfield venture capital firms. Legato was fast growing and by the time she left almost 4 years later, revenue was ~$250M and the employees had grown to almost 1,200. The growth came from organic and inorganic (software acquisitions). It was eventually bought by EMC Storage Inc.
Nora took her first-ever sabbatical, a very short one (two months), and headed to Upstate NY and a few other places in the world before settling into a division general manager position at Hewlett Packard. She headed the storage division, and after the merger with Compaq Computers, was promoted to SVP where she headed both the consulting and the software divisions. Most notably, HP's software under Nora's leadership doubled in size and became profitable for the first time in over a dozen years. The growth was both inorganic (by software acquisitions) and organic (new software written by HP engineers.)
In 2006, Nora decided to take a real sabbatical, this one lasting for 2 years. While on sabbatical she did extensive traveling of the world, spent time with her aging parents, and joined both for-profit and non-profit boards.
In 2008, she joined Intuit as a SVP/GM of the QuickBooks Payroll business unit which she helped grow to double digits. Most notably during this time was the successful acquisition of PayCycle, a private software company. She was then asked to lead a new function for Intuit which combined marketing, social and big data. This spawned the initiative called 'Big Data for the Little Guy' which was a recognition that customers wanted companies to provide insights that they could not get elsewhere.
Currently Nora is involved in for-profit and non-profit boards.