Mark Leslie

Lecturer in Management

Phone: (650) 561-1228


Academic Areas: Center for Entrepreneurial Studies

Mark Leslie is a successful retired entrepreneur and continues to be active in the Silicon Valley community. In his relationship with the GSB he focuses on course and case development in the areas of entrepreneurship, and he co-developed and teaches the school’s seminal course on sales organizations. His courses cover many topics related to the growth of Silicon Valley companies, as well as companies around the United States and abroad. He is an energetic and devoted teacher, and states that his aspiration is “… to impact all and to inspire a few."


Mark Leslie is a Lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business where he teaches courses in Entrepreneurship and Sales Organization. He is also the managing director of Leslie Ventures, a private investment company, and serves on the boards of two public companies, six private companies, and three nonprofit organizations.

Mark Leslie was the founding Chairman and CEO of Veritas Software. During his tenure as CEO, the company went from 12 employees to 5,500 employees deployed globally, and from a revenue base of $95,000 per year to $1,500,000,000 per year. In 2000, Veritas was the 10th largest independent software company by revenue, third largest by market capitalization, and achieved the distinction of becoming a Fortune 1000 company.

From 1980 until 1990 he served as president and chief executive officer of two Silicon Valley high-tech start-up companies. His prior experience included sales management, sales executive, systems engineer, and OS programmer.

Mark currently serves on the board of NetApp Corporation (NSDAQ: NTAP), and a number of privately held high-technology corporations, including Cassatt Software, Doostang, Librato Software, Model N Software, Servo Software, SugarCRM, Wall Street Systems and Xsigo Corporation is on the boards of nonprofit organizations NYU Board of Overseers, NYU Science Advisory Board and Taube-Koret Campus for Jewish Life, Community Foundation of Silicon Valley, and Leslie Family Foundation.

Mark received a Bachelor of Arts degree in physics and mathematics from New York University in 1966 and completed Harvard Business School's Program for Management Development (PMD)in 1980.

Academic Degrees

PMD Executive Management Program, Harvard Business School, 1980; BA, New York Univ., 1966.

Professional Experience

At Stanford since 2001. Lecturer in Management Science and Engineering, Stanford School of Engineering, 2002; Lecturer in Business, the Haas School of Business, Univ. of California, Berkeley, 2001; Founder, President, CEO, and Chairman, Veritas Software, 1990–2001; Chairman, President, and CEO, Rugged Digital Systems, Inc., 1984–89; Founder, President, and CEO, Synapse Computer Corp., 1980–84.

Selected Publications

  • The Sales Learning Curve: Harvard Business Review, July-Aug., 2006

Selected Cases

  • E263: NetApp: The Day-to-Day of a DM
  • E296: Mercado
  • M311: Implementing Sales Force Automation at Quantium Technology
  • E350A: Levi Strauss & Co. (A)
  • E350B: Levi Strauss & Co. (B)
  • E350C: Levi Strauss & Co. (C)
  • E350D: Levi Strauss & Co. (D)
  • E349: Better Place
  • E382A: Mary Simmons (A)
  • E382B: Mary Simmons (B)
  • E385A: Valley Systems (A)
  • E391: Kevin Donnelly at New Wave Ventures
  • E385B: Valley Systems (B)
  • E400: Westpac: Offshore Bank Accounts in the Cook Islands (A) and (B)
  • E428A: Traction Ventures - Part A
  • E428C: Traction Ventures - Part C
  • OIT37: Zaplet
  • E149: VMware
  • E152: Vocera Communications
  • E157: Inkra Networks
  • E163B: Med-Mart: Transitioning The Business Model (B)
  • E163A: Med-Mart: Transitioning The Business Model (A)
  • SM120A: Veritas 1999 (A): Integrating Sales Forces
  • E163C: Med-Mart: Transitioning The Business Model (C)
  • E184A: Avaya (A) - How To Go To Market
  • SM120B: Veritas 1999 (B): Integrating Sales Forces
  • E183: Philip Reade
  • SM120C: Veritas 1999 (C): Integrating Sales Forces
  • SM147: Scalix Corporation - The Evolution of a Sales Model
  • E172: ComStar: Reinventing The Channel
  • E177: OuterBay and EMC
  • E209: Presidio Solutions
  • E186: Lundberg Systems: 3 Vignettes
  • E200: Connetics and Relaxin
  • E161: OuterBay Building A Sales Force
  • E169: Crystal Decisions
  • E184B: Avaya (B): Implementing The New Go-To-Market Model
  • E230: Nektar Therapeutics
  • E213: Bausch & Lomb Sales Force Reorganization
  • E232: Clearion Software
  • E270: Xsigo Systems
  • E360: Jive Software
  • E395: Progreso Financiero: Growing Sales
  • E152B: Vocera Communications (B)
  • E409: SeaMicro
  • E267A: XenSource (A)
  • E377: Note on IPO Share Allocation
  • E428B: Traction Ventures - Part B

Courses Taught


  • Center for Entrepreneurial Studies


  • Board of Directors: NetApp (2004 - present)
  • Board of Directors: Wall Street Systems (2008 - present)
  • Board of Directors: ModelN Software (2001 - present)
  • Board of Directors: Sugar CRM (2008 - present)
  • Board of Directors: Xsigo Systems (2007 - present)
  • Science Advisory Board: New York University (2007 - present)
  • Board of Overseers: New York University, Facutly of Arts and Sciences (2007 - present)
  • Board of Directors: Doostang (2005 - present)
  • Board of Directors: Servo Software (2004 - present)