IBM Marketing Vice President Teresa Golden Retires – Always Stay Curious!

Teresa Golden, Vice President, Digital Transformation, for IBM Global Technology Services (GTS)

Teresa Golden, Vice President, Digital Transformation, for IBM Global Technology Services (GTS)

“At IBM, if you are curious and have the right level of dedication, you will never be bored!”

IBM Vice President, Teresa Golden, is retiring after more than 34 years with IBM.  Teresa is Vice President, Digital Transformation, for IBM Global Technology Services (GTS) where she is engaged in enhancing the GTS Web presence and client experience through digital channels.  Throughout her career at IBM, Teresa has held multiple executive, managerial and staff positions in marketing, finance, business strategy and planning across multiple lines of business including business process and IT services, software, UNIX systems, personal computers, printers, multimedia and the Internet.  She was involved with one of IBM’s most important inventions, e-business, as Vice President, e-business marketing, where she played a key role in extending IBM’s market leadership by driving initiatives to increase consideration and preference for IBM as an e-business solutions provider, leveraging the entire portfolio of hardware, software and services.  IBM had 10,000 e-business customers by 1999.  She later held executive leadership roles for IBM Learning Solutions, IBM Global Technology Services, and  IBM Global Process Services. where she was a key driver in bringing IBM solution and service teams together to further IBM’s leadership in the market.

Teresa earned an MBA from Pace University and a BA from the College of Mount Saint Vincent.  She is married with two grown children and a grandson.


IBM Poughkeepsie is located in New York's Hudson Valley (Photo Credit:  IBM)

IBM Poughkeepsie is located in New York’s Hudson Valley (Photo Credit: IBM)

When did you join IBM and what led you to join the company?

I joined in July 1979 as a junior systems analyst in Poughkeepsie, NY.  Having already worked in the technology industry for 4 years, just completed my MBA and recently moved Dutchess County, NY, I was looking for a new opportunity.  As a 2nd generation IBMer, I made my father very happy when I opted to join IBM.

What were some of your more interesting roles and what did they entail?

I’ve enjoyed most of my roles over the last 34+ years.  One of the ‘fun’ roles early in my career was as a Graphics Marketing Support Representative during the infancy of computer-aided business graphics (e.g. 3279 and 3277 GA).  In that capacity, the Poughkeepsie-based Graphics Support Center conducted client briefings, held education classes for IBMers and participated in business shows about business and CAD/CAM graphics.   I am also very proud of the work my team did in my two stints in e-business marketing.  At the time, we were focused on re-positioning IBM as a leader in the technology industry.  And I also truly enjoyed working in more of a ‘start-up’ environment as part of IBM Learning Solutions, which focused on the emerging business opportunity of e-learning.  We established IBM as a leader in this space by developing a point of view on the Future of Learning, leveraging IBM’s experience in Leadership Development and applying a broad marketing mix to promote our capabilities while driving real business results.

Restored IBM 3277 Display terminal (Photo credit:  IBM System 3 Blog)

Restored IBM 3277 Display terminal (Photo credit: IBM System 3 Blog)

What was the workplace like when you joined, and how did it change over time?

When I started, the 3277 display terminal was ‘new’ technology!  Some of the first reports I created used JCL (Job Control Language)!  Subsequently, there has been a marked acceleration in the pace at which decisions are made and a shift is where and how work gets done. Innovation is now happening much closer to the client versus primarily in the development labs.

What do you see are the major upcoming trends in your field?

In marketing, it’s all about becoming more personal and reaching target audiences primarily through digital, including mobile, channels.  Being able to capitalize on this will be key to marketing success in the future.

What does a typical day look like for you now?

Today, regardless of my physical work location, I can be productive as long as I have my laptop and a network connection.  I’m often on calls with other IBMers around the globe early mornings into late evenings but the pursuit of excellence remains the same as when I started.

Photo Credit:  HD Desktop Wallpaper Blog

Photo Credit: HD Desktop Wallpaper Blog

How and where do you find inspiration?

I personally love the quiet associated with being outdoors in nature to think things through and/or develop the next course of action.  That said, I’ve often been inspired by some incredible IBMers who envision the future and encourage others to stretch their limits.

What values are you committed to?

The Golden Rule:  Do unto others as you wish others to do unto you.

What did you like most about your career with IBM?

I really appreciated the relatively fast pace of the technology industry with the opportunity to continually learn and apply new skills.  At IBM, if you are curious and have the right level of dedication, you will never be bored!

What qualities have you most appreciated in the people you have worked with in the past?

I tend to be very operational and thus truly appreciate individuals who are visionary and can motivate others about the impact that our work can have on individuals, industries and the world.

How do you show others that you believe in them?

Always acknowledge good work and the time that is expended in creating it.  Spend time with individually with team members talking through how/what they learn from their work and continually improve.

technologista2What has been your experience working as a woman in the technology industry?

The world has changed so much for women.  When IBM contacted me regarding my initial interviews, my father told me that I would not be hired because I was pregnant!  Thankfully, that prediction did not come true.  In the early days, there were very few women in professional roles.  Now, the IBM work force is more representative of the human population.  When my children were young, working from home was not an option.  Technology today offers so much more flexibility enabling work to be more smoothly integrated with ‘life’.

How did you achieve work-life balance?

I never really got to a work-life in balance.  However, with the help of my husband of 38 years, we muddled through, raised two wonderful children and survived!

What dreams and goals inspired you to succeed?

Throughout my career, a common goal has been to be in a position to leave a role and/or a team in better shape than when I found it.  At the end of the day, we all just want to make a difference!

What characteristics, skills, or attitudes set you apart and helped you be successful?

I seem to thrive in environments where I can help create order out of chaos.  This ‘skill’, which most likely was learned growing up as the 3rd of nine children, has served me well.

How did you get where you are today?

I’ve recall being fascinated with technology in grade school, fueled by my father who used to talk about computers at my school.  During college, I opted for business, math and programming courses and even spent a summer working for IBM as a tape librarian in a data center.  After graduation, I worked for two other technology firms before I joined IBM as a junior systems analyst in Poughkeepsie, New York.  I can’t say I ‘planned’ my career but looked for roles that I found interesting, typically focused on new growth areas, that enabled me to work for and with people I respected and knew I could learn from.  I never hesitated to switch divisions as I knew it was an opportunity to learn about different aspects of this company – resulting in an exposure to hardware, software and services.  I fell in love with marketing because it is always at the intersection of sales, development and finance and thus provides a good view of what is happening both internally and externally.

Who influenced you the most and why?

My father, now a retired IBMer, who opened the door to the possibilities of technology and encouraged me throughout my career.

Did you have any mentors, and, if so, how did they help you?

I’ve had multiple mentors, both male and female, throughout my career.  One of them sponsored and helped me get my first executive role, Others have been wonderful ‘sounding boards’ to help me work through specific challenges I was facing.

Did you act as a mentor to others, and, if so, how did you help them?

I’ve mentored numerous IBMers over the years.  Hopefully, I’ve provided them with a different perspective to think about and potentially act upon.  Often, I’ve been a ‘sounding board’ and/or a source of encouragement.  I have learned so much from my mentees making the time investment worthwhile.

What advice would you give to other women in tech to help them be successful?

Don’t lose sight of your priorities.  Work will always be there but your family will grow up before you know it.  Take the time to enjoy the special family moments.  You now have the flexibility to do this.  Take advantage of it!

What were some of the most important lessons you learned from your IBM career?

IBMers are so talented but we all have a different combination of skills that can be applied to the task at hand.  Appreciating the differences and applying them where appropriate is fundamental to getting the most out of a team.

What would you do differently if given the opportunity?

I’d love to work on addressing some of the challenges associated with our current educational system.  Education is the door opener to opportunity and is critical to the future success of our nation and the world.  (Learn more about IBM education initiatives)

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I enjoy spending time with my family – especially with my 5 year old grandson.  I seem to recharge quickly when I’m outdoors with nature but a good book will also capture my attention.

(Photo Credit:  Ellis' Forest Management Greenhouse Nursery)

(Photo Credit: Ellis’ Forest Management Greenhouse Nursery)

What are some of your plans after retirement?

I’m looking forward to having the luxury of time to spend with my family. In addition, I hope to be able to read more, start a vegetable garden, furnish/landscape our new home in upstate New York, and learn about forestry management.  The possibilities are endless!

Any words of advice for Greater IBMers?

Regardless of your role, get as close to the customer or the ‘market’ as you can.  Having a deep understanding and appreciation of the ‘real-life’ issues that our clients are facing is fundamental to coming up with an approach that addresses their challenges.

Video Courtesy of IBM Smarter Marketing



–By Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager, The Greater IBM Connection

20% Off Holiday Savings for IBM Alumni and Retirees (in the US)

holiday deals

Dazzling Holiday deals on IBM Certified Pre-owned PCs for US IBM Alumni and Retirees
If you’re an IBM alumnus or retiree based in the US, you can enjoy a savings of 20% off all PCs, monitors and accessories plus $40 off PCs and $25 off monitors now through December 31st.  Just use the coupon code “ibmalum”.

There’s a wide selection of laptops, desktops, monitors, and other parts and accessories from Apple, Lenovo, HP, and more. In addition, free shipping and free product warranties are offered with all purchases through December 31st.  Get fully refurbished PCs at a fraction of the cost of buying new.

To learn more and buy today, visit our site: and use the coupon code “ibmalum”


–Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager, The Greater IBM Connection, via Program Contact Debbie Wildgoose

Christmas Carols on the IBM 704

To follow up on the post about the IBM 1401 musical suite by a Scandanavian composer, here’s an anecdote with a Holiday twist from retired IBMer John Van Gardner, an early pioneer in the kinds of computer music that inspired that suite! This excerpt is from file #17.


I had gotten interested in audio amplifiers when I built a high fidelity system in the navy.  During my school on the 704 as I learned how to program it I got an idea about how to use it as a square wave generator.  The 704 had four indicator lights on the console that could be turned on and off with program sense instructions.  They were used to give a visual indication of the progress of the program.  I keyed in a program using index instructions to turn sense light 1 on and off at different frequencies.  I connected the output of the sense light to the microphone input of the PA system.  The PA amplifier could not reproduce a square wave so the sound that came out sounded like a clean sign wave.


The IBM 704, introduced in 1954, was a large-scale computer designed for engineering and scientific calculations.

Some time later my daughter Joy received a toy xylophone with a songbook with simple one note songs like “Three Blind Mice” and some Christmas carols.  I took the book to work early one morning and connected the output of sense light 1 to the microphone input of the PA system.  I found the numbers to make the 704 play the musical scale.  Jack Bellinger came in later and heard it.  He showed it to Cal Jackson a Lockheed System Programmer and he modified the 704 assembly program to equate the scale note names to the numbers necessary to create that note.

A few weeks later in December 1957 we had a Christmas party in the programming area at Lockheed and Cal had made a tape that had all the Christmas carols from the little xylophone book on it.  It would play all the songs then rewind and start over….

I always wondered if I was the first person to play music with a digital computer.  I found the answer to that question when the internet came into being.  There were quit a few people that did it before me but at least I did it independently.


The December 2012 theme for The Greater IBM Connection is ‘corporate history’, and Paul Lasewicz, IBM Corporate Archivist, will be sharing with us some of the highlights from IBM’s history.

Paul Lasewicz, IBM Corporate Archivist

Paul Lasewicz, IBM Corporate Archivist



Resource Links

  • After IBM (All) – information about retiree benefits, contacts, discounts and links to many other useful sites
  • 40% IBM Press Book Discount (All):  IBM Press is the official publisher of IBM books for professionals and academia. It publishes the highest quality content for the critical topics facing today’s business and technology students and professionals. With books designed to help educate business leaders, help users master the diverse range of technologies and solutions and prepare for IBM certifications, IBM Press books are an informative resource for knowledge that’s critical for today’s IT professional and throughout their careers.Greater IBMers can use the coupon code IBMALUM to enjoy 40% off the list price and free ground shipping within the U.S. on books purchased at IBM Press.
  • IBM Logo Merchandise (Retiree/ Alumni Link)
  • IBM Logo Merchandise (IBM US Employee Link)
  • On Demand Club (IBM Retirees Only):  volunteer and make a difference in your community
  • Various Discounts (IBM Retirees Only):   Click here for various discounts available to IBM retirees only
  • Employee and Retiree Swap N Shop (Employee/ Retiree):  IBM employees and retirees can buy and sell their personal items, rent homes, share rides, etc.  All items posted must be in compliance with the stated guidelines (link on the site).  First-time users need to register.  Hosted by Beneplace.
  • World Community Grid (All):  Donate your unused computer time to help solve world problems

World’s fastest Greater IBMer?!?! (Ed Shadle)

Check out this exciting story in The New York Times about Ed Shadle, IBM alumnus, who aims to break the land speed record in the car he built from the body of a fighter plane.

This summer, Ed and his partner “intend to take the North American Eagle to the hardpan desert at Black Rock, Nev., and run it through a measured mile to set a new land speed
record of about 800 miles per hour, 45 miles per hour faster than the
speed of sound. Mr. Shadle is the driver.”

Ed’s 67 years old and a retired IBM engineer….amazing!

I just watched the movie The World’s Fastest Indian a few weeks ago…Ed’s story totally reminds me of it!

Posted by Ethan McCarty