Jennifer Byrne - Digital Transformation Expert, Ex. Microsoft CTO #118


Jennifer is currently an independent advisor, speaker, and author. A lot of her work is centered around digital transformation.

Previously, Jennifer was Chief Technology Officer of Microsoft US. She infused innovation practices into Microsoft’s technical field teams which led to high-value and well-publicized digital transformation strategies with top global companies.

Jennifer led the fifteen Microsoft Technology Centers across the US, hosting thousands of customers and community events each year. In previous roles at Microsoft, Jennifer was responsible for market expansion initiatives leveraging business model and technology innovation for government, healthcare, and education providers around the globe. She joined Microsoft as the Chief Security Officer for the Worldwide Public Sector Division in 2014.

Prior to Microsoft, Jennifer was a leader in Cybersecurity, having held technical, sales and executive positions at companies such as Intel, McAfee and Symantec. She began her career in technology as an Information Security Analyst and Engineer serving US Government clients.

In high tech or any role, Jennifer Byrne is an advocate for applying original thinking and an innovator’s mindset to create opportunities for success in work and life. Advances in technology can create as much risk as opportunity. Jennifer uses wisdom gained from twenty years in the tech industry to advise startups and mentor young women and leaders on topics related to making the most of today’s fast-changing, tech-infused world.

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A note from Grant

In tech, the title CTO, or Chief Technology Officer, can mean a lot of different things. It can range from the internally focused leader of all things software development through to the externally focused technical field leader.

Our guest today, Jennifer Byrne, held the latter role at Microsoft for nearly 4 years, before venturing out on her own as an independent consultant, speaker and author.

Of course, she didn’t start there. She worked her way up into the role via engineering, sales, business development and security roles.  Along her journey, she’s held titles like Information Security Analyst, Sales Manager, VP of Sales, VP of Global Alliances, and Chief Security Officer for the likes of Symantec, Mcafee, Damballa and Microsoft.

A lot of Jennifer’s work is centered around digital transformation.

-Grant Ingersoll


“I think you need to find the place inside yourself that actually cares deeply about the people on your team. It’s ok that it doesn’t come naturally and its ok that you have to work hard at that with some people. But however you get there, you gotta get there.”

“As a pre-sales engineer you have to make everything work. You’re always running the demos. And you’re highly accountable for deeply understanding your technology.”

“What I finally figured out is that you’re not trying to sell them [customers] the value of the product as it is today. What you’re really selling is an investment. They’re not making a purchase, they’re making an investment. And investments are all about what’s going to happen in the future. Where is this technology going? How is this technology going to help me do the things I want to do?”

—Jennifer Byrne

Additional Resources

Connect with Jennifer Byrne

Connect with Grant Ingersoll