When Suzy Ramirez Greenberg and her team received an Intel Achievement Award, Intel Corporation’s highest honor, Greenberg’s pride was twofold. “I was incredibly proud of the team’s work, but I was just as proud to celebrate as part of that team,” she says.
As vice president of communications and incident response in the Product Assurance and Security Group at semiconductor technology company Intel, Greenberg places equal importance on recognizing hard work and sharing in team success. Her collaborative leadership style and the values by which she works and lives are a result of lessons learned not only throughout her career but also from her family.
Greenberg’s paternal grandparents moved to the United States from Mexico and worked multiple jobs to give her father the opportunity to attend college. “The importance of education was really emphasized in my dad’s household,” Greenberg says. Her father took this lesson to heart, completing law school and becoming the first appointed Hispanic federal judge. In addition to that notable accomplishment, he continued his parents’ legacy by ingraining in his daughter the same drive his own parents taught him.
Right after earning a degree in communication and print journalism in 1998, Greenberg secured a position at Edelman, a public relations agency that counted Apple among its clients at the time. As a result of this client relationship, she contributed to the launch of the first-ever iMac desktop computer when she was just beginning her career.
Greenberg further developed her PR expertise at web-design software company Macromedia before joining Advanced Micro Devices, an Intel competitor. After four years of handling PR for AMD’s client and data center processor technology, she made the jump to Intel in 2008.
Initially centered around wireless technology, Greenberg’s PR role at Intel quickly evolved. “After working on various client-related mobile technologies, I got the opportunity to focus on Intel’s software business,” she says. “I realized that I loved explaining the connection between hardware and software and why it’s so critical for software to run well on our technology.”
While establishing herself at Intel, Greenberg met her husband and started a family. As a parent, she strives to mirror the strong work ethic she saw in her family when she was growing up. “My husband and I want our kids to understand that everything they have is the result of hard work and opportunities that a lot of other people don’t have,” she says.
Shortly after Greenberg came back from maternity leave, an Intel executive tapped her for a sought-after technical assistant role. Though outside PR, the role and its demands suited her. “I thrive when there are a lot of things going on at once and I can lean into that adrenaline rush,” she says.
Achieving the Impossible
Suzy Ramirez Greenberg has always believed that work/life balance is a myth, but COVID-19 might just have changed her mind. Working from home during the pandemic has kept Greenberg much closer to her three sons than when she was commuting, and she hopes that in the future she’ll be able to preserve that balance of work and family time. “There’s an opportunity to use some of the demands and barriers that COVID has created to our long-term advantage,” she says.
After two years as a technical assistant, Greenberg returned to a communications-oriented role, until the Spectre and Meltdown security vulnerabilities came to light. In the face of those vulnerabilities, Greenberg created an engineering team tasked specifically with open-source software mitigation efforts––the very team that Intel would go on to recognize with an Intel Achievement Award in early 2019.
Since launching that team, Greenberg has continued to concentrate on software security. In September 2020, several months after being promoted to VP, she moved to Intel’s security team to manage communications and incident response.
“It feels like this position was literally made for me,” Greenberg says of her current role. “I’m able to meld all of the communication skills and experience that I’ve garnered over the last two decades and bring that together with the engineering-level education and security approach that I’ve gained over the last few years.”
Greenberg is ready to live up to the full potential of the role. She plans to continue driving Intel’s corporate security narrative to stress the company’s commitment to secure technology, while also building empowered teams and leading them in meaningful work.
A key part of Greenberg’s leadership approach is developing not only a shared sense of purpose but also a genuine camaraderie with her team members. “If you can’t take a moment at the beginning of a meeting to ask how someone is doing, it’s a lost opportunity,” she says. “Injecting some normalcy and realness into the way that you interact with people is so important as a leader.”
Greenberg’s approachability and humor have earned her the respect of colleagues across Intel. Case in point: her former team members flooded her with messages of appreciation upon winning an Intel Achievement Award of their own.
“That, for me, is success: when my work with someone makes a lasting impression on them that they’ll carry forward into their other roles,” she says.