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 Outstanding Director

A veteran technology executive who chairs Santa Clara University’s Board of Trustees has been named one of eight “Outstanding Directors” by the San Francisco Business Times and the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

Robert Finocchio Jr., was formerly president, CEO, and chairman of Informix, where he was brought in to turn the information software company around. The business was acquired in 2001 by IBM. Before that he spent nine years at 3Com in various roles including president of 3Com Systems, and spent 10 years at ROLM Corp.

In naming him to its Outstanding Directors list this year, the San Francisco Business Times noted that his “hell-and-back” experience at Informix—and the valuable lessons it taught him about corporate governance—helps make him a sought-after board member. He currently serves on the boards of Broadcom, Echelon, Silver-Peak Systems, and He previously has served on the boards of 17 other companies, including Altera, Pinnacle, and Sun Microsystems.

“Santa Clara University has a tremendous asset in Robert Finocchio, with his vast corporate governance experience and involvement in our Markkula Center for Applied Ethics,” said Santa Clara University President Michael Engh, S.J. “We join the San Francisco Business Times and Silicon Valley Business Journal in celebrating him.”

Finocchio became the chair of Santa Clara University’s board in 2009, after having served nine years on the board and four years on the Board of Regents. He told the Business Times that Santa Clara “had a huge impact” on his life. He is a dean’s executive professor of management—teaching a course called Contemporary Business Issues—and holds a B.S. (magna cum laude) in economics from Santa Clara University and an MBA (Baker Scholar, with high distinction) from Harvard Business School.

Other Outstanding Director honorees this year include Richard Rosenberg, former chair of Bank of America; Barry Lawson Williams from the board of PG&E; and Mariann Byerwalter of Stanford Hospital and Clinics. A dinner celebrating the eight honorees was held on Feb. 21 at the Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco.


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