Domino's CEO gives career advice to HPU students


HIGH POINT, N.C., February 6, 2023 – Domino's Pizza CEO Russell Weiner, who is also executive in residence at High Point University, recently told a roomful of business majors about his unlikely career path and encouraged them to pursue their passions after graduation.

“If you know what you want to do and you love what you do, you'll be good at it,” Weiner told several classes at HPU's Earl N. Phillips School of Management.

Weiner helped kick off HPU's Spring Family Weekend with an hour-long presentation in Phillips Hall, where he offered career advice to students and told the story of how he helped turn around pizza chain Domino's Pizza when sales were struggling more than a decade ago.

Weiner has been CEO of Domino's Pizza since May 2022. Weiner told the students that he originally planned to become a doctor and aimed to go to pre-medical school in college, but took an organic chemistry class that didn't work out.

Weiner said he decided to change his major to political science because he thought if he wasn't going to medical school, he should become a lawyer.

“I remember sitting here at your desk, not in the most comfortable seats at my school, trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life, and if you don't know, the only thing I can say is that it's just as good to know what you don't want to do and check it off your list,” Weiner said. “As a former med-to-be, law-to-be and marketing guy, I can tell you, it will work out. Find something you love.”

Weiner was accepted into law school, interned at a law firm one summer, then realized he wasn't cut out to be a lawyer, then wrote a marketing essay for his college roommate and realized he had a passion for marketing, even though he'd never taken a marketing class.

Weiner eventually became chief marketing officer at Domino's Pizza, having previously run marketing for Pepsi's North American cola business.

Domino's Pizza CEO Russell Weiner, corporate executive in residence at High Point University, will speak to business students.
Domino's CEO Russell Weiner, who serves as High Point University's corporate executive in residence, gave an hour-long presentation in Phillips Hall to help kick off HPU's Spring Family Weekend.

Carter Kleinschmidt, a junior majoring in finance from Nashville, Tennessee, was one of several students who stayed after Weiner's presentation to talk one-on-one with the CEO.

“I thought it was interesting that he had these expectations for life when he graduated from college and then went on to go into marketing and become CEO of a company,” Kleinschmidt said.

Kleinschmidt told Weiner he wanted to pursue a career in finance, but said he knew it was a difficult field to break into without much experience.

“The advice he gave me was to find a company that you love, build yourself up from there, learn from there, and build on that to find something you really love in your future career,” Kleinschmidt said.

Matthew Thornton, a sophomore business administration major from Thomasville, North Carolina, said he was glad to hear Weiner's advice about being open to new opportunities and finding ways to transform his business.

Thornton said his class didn't require him to attend Weiner's talk, but he decided to attend because he wanted to hear from HPU's resident corporate executive, and he appreciates having a CEO of a major company come to campus to mentor students.

“I think this is a great opportunity to get some hands-on experience, and I think it ties in closely with the life skills we teach in our classes at High Point University,” Thornton said.



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