Santa Clara University

Nilofer Merchant

Rubicon Consulting

Nilofer Merchant, Founder of Rubicon Consulting, is a sought after global high-tech industry thought leader and trusted strategic advisor for companies such as Adobe, Symantec and VMWare. As Rubicon’s CEO, she built a distinguished team of fellow strategists, who collaborate with a wide range of Silicon Valley executives at client firms such as Autodesk, Cogito, Hewlett-Packard, Pinnacle, Riverside, SAP, VA Software and others.

18 billion dollars. Nilofer Merchant has launched more than 100 products that netted this astounding amount. It’s this kind of collaborative leadership and business models – the type that results in innovation, and growth - that she now shares. 

She has gone from being an administrative assistant, to division leader, to CEO to board member of a NASDAQ-traded company along her 25-year career, gathering monikers such as the "Jane Bond of Innovation" along the way for her ability to guide organizations through impossible odds. 

Specifically, she’s worked for major Fortune 500 companies like Apple and Autodesk, and startups in the early days of the Web (Golive/ later bought by Adobe). Logitech, Symantec, HP, Yahoo, VMWare, and many others have turned to her guidance on new product strategies, enter new markets, defend against competitors, and optimize revenues. And, Merchant is one of the few people who can say they’ve fought a competitive battle against Microsoft and won, for Symantec’s Anti-Virus $2.1B annual business. 

She has served on boards for both public (NASDAQ-traded) and private companies, as well as on governance boards on public policies. 

She is author of 2 books on collaborations -- one within the enterprise and the other on how to use collaborations in the marketplace. Fast Company recognized her most recent book, 11 Rules for Creating Value in the Social Era – a Harvard Press book, as a Best Business Book of 2012. Her earlier book, The New How, on collaboration has been widely recognized as one of the best. It shows us how to close the proverbial “Air Sandwich” gap between strategy and execution. 

Thinkers 50 awarded her "Future Thinker" recognition in November 2013, to recognizes her innovative ideas to change the world of theory and practice. CNBC has called her Visionary. (More here: 

She lectures on innovation at Stanford University, and Santa Clara University, her alma mater.



MBA '00

Joined Board: 2008
Rubicon Consulting, Inc.




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