Mark Hawkins

Venture Partner

Mark joined NEA in 2023 and is a Venture Partner focused on technology investments. He currently serves on the public board of directors of Workday, Cloudflare, Toast, and Secureworks. Before joining NEA, Mark was President and CFO of Salesforce. Throughout the course of his career he’s held executive financial positions at Autodesk, Logitech, Dell, and HP. He holds a BA in operations management from Michigan State University and an MBA from University of Colorado. He also completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.

You’ve been in several operational roles throughout your career. How has that experience shaped your approach to investing?

My operational experience has helped me feel more grounded and clear when I look at investment opportunities. I assess opportunities thoroughly, and I’m able to recognize patterns of success and potential problem areas that may not be as obvious at the surface level. I’m able to make investments with informed realism, instead of uninformed optimism.

How do you empathize with a founder?

For me it starts with having an immense appreciation and respect for them and their commitment to the success of their vision. They’re “all in” all of the time. It’s important to remember that they sit on a different part of the risk frontier, so they’re faced with a different set of pressures.

What’s one question that every founder should be asking a potential investor?

What do you bring to our team in addition to investment dollars? It’s important to seek out smart money, not just money. You want investors who have a range of capabilities, a wide network, deep experience, and a willingness to contribute beyond just investment dollars.

What’s an opportunity you’re excited to see being addressed within the areas you’re focused in?

I’m inspired by technology’s ability to democratize financial services. Whether it’s bringing banking services to underserved regions, creating more pathways for entrepreneurs to fundraise, or just making the process of paying a bill a little easier—I think fintech has the ability to create more inclusive and fair economies.

What inspires you to stay curious?

I embrace a beginner’s mind—I love to learn! Learning is like R&D at an individual level. Every company should invest in R&D, as should every professional individual. It’s what helps us grow and meaningfully contribute to success in a rapidly changing world.

What nonprofit organizations are you involved with? Why are they important to you?

I serve as the Chair of the Accounting for Sustainability (A4S) Advisory Council—a nonprofit founded by His Majesty, King Charles. The goal of the organization is to educate the global financial community on how to make integrated and sustainable business decisions that take into account the impact on climate, biodiversity, and water. It allows me the opportunity to work alongside top CFOs and financial leaders to come up with pragmatic actions we can take to create a positive impact on the environment, while still driving success for our respective businesses.

Countries visited
Marathon finisher
Induction into the Six Star Finishers Hall of Fame