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Annual Pung Speaker Series Kicks Off With Salesforce President & CFO

By Grace Beck, student writer

The annual Pung Executive Speaker Series at the Broad College of Business got off to a running start with alumnus and President and CFO of Salesforce.

A lot has happened since Salesforce’s Mark Hawkins (BA Supply Chain Management ’81) left Michigan State University’s campus. With over 30 years of experience, Hawkins’ resume includes leadership roles with the likes of Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and Logitech. When he began at Salesforce, operations were out of a small apartment in San Francisco; today, it is now the fourth-largest software company in the world.

mark hawkins
Salesforce President & CFO Mark Hawkins kicked-off the annual Pung Executive Speaker Series.

Speaking to Broad MBAs, Hawkins discussed his memories of MSU, his secrets to success, and what keeps him balanced. “I was so surprised to hear how focused Mark is on his family and the balance he keeps, especially since he plays such a huge role at company. He still emphasizes how important relationships are,” said Winnie Jeng (FTMBA ’19).

The Broad alumnus says that he has nothing but fond memories of his roots. “I am very grateful for the education I received at Michigan State University, the school gave me an incredible opportunity,” Hawkins said.

In the past three years, Hawkins doubled the size of Salesforce, as well as landing a spot on the Fortune 500. He shared five things for the group of MBA students to keep in mind throughout their careers:

  • Trust is number 1: “Trust and your reputation is everything for your personal long-term success.”
  • Dream a little…. And don’t give up on your dreams: “Don’t let people discourage you, know what your dream is, and don’t give up on it.”
  • The company you keep: “Surround yourself with good, productive people that you can team up with on your journey.”
  • Student to master to student: “When you master something, go be a student again, push yourself, keep repeating the cycle of learning.”
  • You, Inc.: “Think about yourself as your own company. Be productive, and deliver results. Be professional in everything you do, invest in yourself.”
  • Who’s Driving? : “Decide who you are and what you stand for, or someone else will do it for you.”

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