A passion for civil rights and advocacy runs deep in Mark Padilla’s veins. The veteran in-house lawyer has been instrumental in helping software company Anaplan evolve into a mature public entity, but he’s never forgotten his roots or lost his desire to give back to the community.
Padilla remembers hearing stories about his cousin Gilbert who grew up working with his family in the fields of a California labor camp. The young man served in the army during World War II and returned to find the influx of Mexican braceros was lowering wages for American-born laborers like him. In the mid 1950s, Gilbert met a young man named Cesar and later, an activist named Dolores. In 1962, Gilbert Padilla, Cesar Chavez, and Dolores Huerta started what became the National Farm Workers of America which would later become the United Farm Workers or UFW.
Those stories lingered in the back of Mark Padilla’s mind as he decided to explore his interest in the law as an undergraduate student at Yale University. A spring break externship through the alumni association took him to the Bronx Superior Court where he sat in trials and interacted with Latino clerks, judges, and lawyers.
Those legal professionals impressed upon Padilla the need for more representation in the field, and he remembers Judge Frank Torres explaining why the country needs more Latinos in positions of power and influence. “The demographics of the country are changing, and we need to prepare ourselves to make our voices heard,” Padilla reiterates. He was convinced and enrolled at Georgetown University Law Center.
Wilson Sonsini gave Padilla a platform from which to launch his career, and he spent a decade honing his craft at Silicon Valley’s preeminent tech firm known for taking companies like Apple and Google public. He advised boards and leaders of private and public companies while often representing clients from their start-up phase to financing and through an initial public offering.
During this era, a friend introduced Padilla to a local community college program in need of legal and financial assistance. Right away, he noticed an alignment of his heritage, interests, and vocation. “My mom attended community college after she came to the United States from Peru,” he explains. “I value what these programs offer, and I wanted to help.”
Padilla spent more than six years as director of the San Mateo County Community Colleges Foundation. He worked with board and staff members to recruit a team of volunteers and raise funds for scholarships and programs at Cañada College, College of San Mateo, and Skyline College.
In 2014, Padilla went in house with McKesson to manage SEC public reporting and M&A activities and serve as chief counsel for the leading healthcare and information technology company. At the firm, he also worked alongside entrepreneurs at early-stage tech companies as general counsel of the company’s venture arm. McKesson is a 150-year-old pharmaceutical company with more than $200 billion in revenue. The purposeful move gave Padilla the opportunity to experience the inner workings and all facets of a large corporation.
After six years, Padilla was ready for a new challenge. He came to Anaplan to marry his experience from advising small, private, venture-backed companies with what he learned at McKesson.
As vice president of corporate and compliance legal and assistant corporate secretary, Padilla is helping the young public organization put mature structures in place. Anaplan was founded in 2006 and went public in 2018. The high-growth company sells cloud-native SaaS solutions to many of the world’s largest businesses.
Padilla spent his first year at Anaplan leveling up the corporate legal side by implementing training practices, redesigning proxy statements, and building out ESG and DEI disclosure programs. At the same time, Anaplan caught the attention of Thoma Bravo. In March 2022, the large and well-known private equity firm announced plans to acquire Anaplan in a cash transaction valued at $10.7 billion.
“This is a clear validation of our team’s outstanding work and the start of an exciting new chapter for Anaplan, our customers, and our partner ecosystem,” said Anaplan CEO Frank Calderoni in a statement.
Anaplan is on solid ground, and Padilla is looking to reengage in board service and other community outreach efforts. As he moves forward, he recalls what Judge Torres taught him many years ago. “We know our culture has arrived in this country when there are not just actors and celebrities in the spotlight, but Latino judges, lawyers, engineers, doctors, and others,” he says. “We can all make a difference.”
Morrison & Foerster is delighted to support Mark Padilla at Anaplan. We are impressed by Mark’s many accomplishments as a legal leader, and congratulate him on his recognition by Hispanic Executive. MoFo is an international law firm offering a comprehensive platform of legal services across the globe. Find out more at MoFo.com.