Mendoza School of Business

Dean’s Speaker Series kicks off with newly retired NetApp vice chairman Tom Mendoza

Published: September 5, 2019 / Author: Carol Elliott

Tom Mendoza, recently retired vice chairman of data services and management company NetApp, will speak at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business on the topic of “Building a Vibrant Workplace Culture in Good Times and Bad.” The talk, which is free and open to the public, will take place 11 a.m.-noon, Sept. 13 (Friday), in Mendoza’s Jordan Auditorium.

Mendoza’s talk is part of the Mendoza College of Business Dean’s Speaker Series, a fall series of lectures by top executives presenting viewpoints on global trends in business, from workplace culture to financial markets.

Mendoza joined NetApp in 1994 where he was responsible for worldwide sales until 2000. During this time, NetApp’s revenues grew to $1 billion from essentially zero. Promoted to president in 2000, Mendoza helped lead the company through the dot-com bust and was named vice chairman in 2008.

Mendoza is widely considered as instrumental in developing and nurturing NetApp’s globally recognized culture, which has been recognized numerous times by workplace consultant and research firm Great Place to Work on its World’s Best Multinational Workplaces list.

In the July 18 announcement of his retirement from NetApp, Mendoza recalled answering the question posed at the company’s founding of the single most important thing for NetApp to accomplish. “We want to build a company that we will be proud of the rest of our lives,” answered Mendoza.

“What I’ll always remember is we didn’t talk about revenue targets, lists we would be included on or external accolades. We talked about people. Hiring people of high integrity with a tremendous work ethic and grit (perhaps the most important attribute to long-term success) and creating a high-performance culture built on trust, respect and mutual accountability,” he added.

Mendoza earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Notre Dame in 1973 and an Executive MBA from Stanford University. In September 2000, Notre Dame renamed its business school the Mendoza College of Business after an endowment made by Tom and Kathy Mendoza.

The Dean’s Speaker Series is sponsored by The Eugene Clark Distinguished Lecture Series endowment. Upcoming speakers include:

  • Oct. 11: Joe Ucuzoglu, CEO, Deloitte
  • Nov. 22: Robert Jackson, commissioner, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

All talks take place from 11 a.m.-noon in Mendoza’s Jordan Auditorium. For more information, visit