Artifact Details


Mendoza, Tom interview : NetApp

Catalog Number





This interview of Tom Mendoza, long-time head of sales for NetApp in Silicon Valley, is conducted by Bill Barnett, a professor in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. NetApp is a multi-billion $ company which has been voted multiple times as one of the best places to work in the country. Barnett explores with Mendoza the company’s culture and how this culture has contributed to both the company’s business success and employee satisfaction.
Mendoza notes that the positive culture was set from the beginning and reinforced as the company grew by the company’s founders and early CEO. Tom relates a series of actions and management strategies he has employed throughout his NetApp career to support that positive corporate culture.

In the early days of heady growth, a company’s culture is often not strained or tested. However, NetApp had to weather the “dot comm” bust in the 2000 time frame that saw their revenues plunge and they faced their first layoff. The company took some unusual financial risks at that time that they felt would address the crisis while keeping the culture intact. Their strategy paid off and the company weathered the downturn and was positioned for rapid growth while maintaining the support and confidence of the employees.
This interview offers some very tangible examples of how to maintain a positive company culture in the face of rapid growth and financial crises. A great tutorial for any manager, whether in a startup or established corporation.




Barnett, William P., Interviewer
Mendoza, Tom, Interviewee


Computer History Museum

Place of Publication

NetApp, Sunnyvale, California



Copyright Holder

Computer History Museum




NetApp; Warmenhoven; Company culture; Leadership; Hitz, Dave; Lau, James

Collection Title

Oral history collection

Series Title

Silicon Valley 360 : NetApp


Computer History Museum

Lot Number


Related Records

102740073 Mendoza, Tom interview : NetApp