About this event

In a world where open source is only expanding, understanding the movement that is fueling innovation is key to accelerating your companies' digital transformation and growth. Join Athena member Nithya Ruff, a strategic Open Source, Digital, and Media Technology Executive and Board Director, to discuss how companies big and small are accelerating their growth and digital transformation by utilizing open source. Relevant to startups and large enterprises alike, join your fellow Athena members to learn how to leverage open source and how you can amplify your companies' growth.


Coco Brown CEO

Coco is founder and CEO of Athena Alliance. Prior to her current roles, Coco served as President, COO, and Board Director of Taos, a market leader in IT Services serving hundreds of F1000 companies, including Apple, Cisco, ebay, Facebook, and Silicon Valley Bank. Coco brings rich experience across F1000 companies, start-ups, and nonprofits in the roles of CEO, COO, advisor, and Board member to Athena. She possesses a unique understanding of the breadth of challenges and opportunities of leadership. She empowers leaders to execute successfully, working with them to develop the relationship between a company’s strategy and its organizational design and environment. Coco’s expertise in developing and strengthening these important linkages makes her a powerful C-level advisor and Board member. In addition to serving on the Board of Taos from 2004 to 2014, Coco served as a Board Director for MentorNet during its rebranding, product transformation, and subsequent acquisition by Great Minds in STEM. Coco was on the finance committee supporting the Board of Directors of Samasource and established the Operating Committee for the Silicon Valley arm of Golden Seeds, a New York-based early-stage investment firm. She also currently serves as Chair of the Nominating Committee for the Anita Borg Technology Leadership Award, one of the most prestigious awards honoring women in technology.


Nithya Ruff Executive Director, Open Source Program Office

Nithya Ruff is a strategic Open Source, Digital, and Media Technology Executive and Board Director with 20+ years of experience as a General Manager and technologist leveraging technology and innovation to scale growth in start-ups to Fortune 500 companies like Comcast, Intel, Avaya, and SanDisk. She brings unparalleled expertise delivering enterprise, embedded, and Open Source solutions across media and entertainment, telecommunications, digital storage and semiconductor. Nithya is a respected influencer and marketplace collaborator highly qualified to advise CEOs and boards on strategies for growth, monetization, technology investments, product transitions, business models, and go-to-market. Nithya leads the Open Source Program Office for the $94.5B media and technology leader, Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA). As the Executive Director, she sets the strategy and influences direction inside and outside the organization as the face of Comcast to the open source industry, including licensing, compliance, engineering. Her organization influences strategy and development culture for 1000s of technologists resulting in over $100 million in savings, risk mitigation and productivity. She is also a key member of many internal decision making bodies such as the Innovation Fund and Comcast TechWomen. She also serves as an advisor to start-ups in the Comcast incubation program on software development and open source technology strategy. Nithya sits on the influential Linux Foundation board as chair and member of the finance committee. Nithya was elected Chair of the Linux Foundation Board, a highly respected and influential organization for companies and industries creating open source projects and ecosystems. She also sits on the open standards Oasis Open Advisory Board and is a visiting scholar at UCSC’s Engineering school. Previously, at SanDisk Inc., an innovative digital storage and memory solutions company, she was appointed as the first SanDisk Open Source Strategy leader, where she led Open Source strategy for the entire organization and advised on new architectures for new workloads such as cloud, big data and HPC. Nithya led Open Source and University Research as a part of an open innovation plan for the company, spanning retail, mobile, consumer and datacenter storage. Previously, at Avaya, Inc. (NYSE: AVYA), a $3B+ Fortune 250 IP communications and VoIP company, Nithya ran a $200M P&L and also led a senior team of professional services consultants that impacted $500M in revenue. At Wind River, an Intel subsidiary, Nithya led the Linux product line business growth over 100% year-over-year and led them to be named #1 Embedded Linux Vendor from VDC in 16 out of top 20 Tier 1 networking companies. She successfully positioned the commercial value of an open source-based product and partnered with Mobile, Auto, Networking, and Industrial teams to create differentiated platforms for these industries and developed all GTM strategies through cross-functional collaboration. Nithya also led the launch of a new business model for the open source solutions world-wide. Nithya is a thought leader and sought-after speaker and, asked to speak at the Linux Foundation Open Source Summit, Grace Hopper Conference, GitHub Universe, IEEE Symposium and VMWorld, and DevOps Enterprise Summit. She was selected to participate in an entertainment and media industry leadership program, Oct 2019, and was recognized with the O’Reilly Open Source Award. Nithya has published numerous articles on OpenSource topics including Developing an Open Source Strategy — The First 90 Days, The NewStack, Trends in Corporate Engagement with Open Source, opensource.com, and Flash and OpenSource, What every datacenter CIO needs to know, 2015, CIO Review Magazine. Nithya earned an MBA, Finance, Accounting, and Entrepreneurship from the University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, and a MS, Computer Science from North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND.

Key Details

Technology & Innovation

Companies and Open Source; Why Boards Should Care

Tue, Jun 29 @ 12:00pm PT (1 hr)

Virtual (RSVP for link)


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