The CEO of Servco Pacific grew the family business by selling off sideline companies, focusing on core competencies and excelling on both customer service and employee satisfaction, all while constantly reinventing the company.
When he returned home for what he expected to be five years of helping the family business, one of Mark Fukunaga’s first jobs was cleaning rotten food out of faulty refrigerators. The year was 1988 and the 32-year-old New York attorney came back to Hawaii just as Servco was in the midst of a crisis with a GE refrigerator recall. It was an unlikely start in the family business for a man who Hawaii Business has named 2018’s CEO of the Year.
“We were really busy trying to save people’s food, and sending them replacement refrigerators, and bringing in the ones that had problems,” Fukunaga remembers.
Fukunaga has a BA from Pomona College and a law degree from the University of Chicago; he worked for Cleary Steen & Hamilton, one of New York’s largest and most prestigious law firms, but his early background in business was nominal. However, his time as a volunteer in college for a suicide prevention hotline provided experience in calming emotional callers.
“Every business has to reinvent itself. No business stays the same.” – Mark Fukunaga
Thirty years on he is still learning and continues to ask board members for their hard-nosed evaluations
of his leadership.
“He’ll visit individual directors and ask for critiques of his performance,” says Servco board member Walter Dods, retired chairman of First Hawaiian Bank. “He takes criticism well. He’s a very humble guy and soft-spoken. But you should listen to every word he says. He really knows what he’s talking about.”
Read more at Hawaii Business Magazine