Sue Graham Johnston Is The Nerd Herder

How does a nice girl from Mechanicsburg end up running a hot enterprise tech company in Boston? Easy. Think like a farmgirl.

Today’s episode features my conversation with Sue Graham Johnston, the President of G20 portfolio star 128 Technology. Sue actually came to Boston in 2017 to help run 128, a next generation networking company that closes the gap between what your business needs and what your network does. Much of 128’s management team also led Acme Packet, a Boston-based unicorn acquired by Oracle in 2013 for a little over $2 billion. Sue was actually the executive at Oracle responsible for the integrating Acme Packet, and for running the resulting business. She was so well regarded by the team that when they were ready for a President in the new business, they called her first.

Between Oracle and here Sue served as the Managing Director of British Oxygen Company, running the UK, Ireland and sub-Saharan Africa region of the Linde Group. While at Oracle she served as Vice President in the Communications Global Business Unit, having joined Oracle through the acquisition of Sun Microsystems, where she held numerous leadership roles in operations, supply chain, and engineering. Sue started her career in management consulting with Bain & Company, and holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering, an MS in Manufacturing Systems Engineering, and an MBA all from Stanford University, the Cornell of the west.

Sue’s about as polished and professional as they come, and she’s risen to the top of every male engineer-dominated situation she’s been dropped into her whole life. I learned over the course of our conversation where that poise and bearing comes from, and all I’ll say going is that involves the management and shearing of lesser mammals. Our conversation also covered her rather informed comparison of the startups scenes in Silicon Valley and Boston, and some really great advice on what it takes to deliver on the all-too-often undelivered promise of a major enterprise tech acquisition.

Curious? Well you should be. Check out my conversation with the President of 128 Technologies, Sue Graham Johnston.

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