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DocuSign executive exodus raises questions at US$3b startup

[SAN FRANCISCO] DocuSign Inc, a corporate-software startup valued at US$3 billion by investors last year, recently lost four of its nine senior executives.

The departures include DocuSign's operating chief, growth chief, product chief and human resources chief, according to the executives' LinkedIn profiles and DocuSign's website.

The company, which creates software to collect digital signatures and manage business services, has been searching for a replacement for its chief executive officer since last year.

At least two senior vice presidents have also departed in recent months. They both joined ClearSlide, a sales and marketing software startup led by former DocuSign chief marketing and business development officer Dustin Grosse.

DocuSign and the four former DocuSign senior executives - Gordon Payne, Mike Dinsdale, Matt Malden and Peter Navin - didn't immediately respond to requests for comment. The blog GeekWire had previously reported some details of the departures.

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Keith Krach, 59, became CEO of DocuSign in 2011. The former Ariba Inc chief came out of retirement to help expand the company and accelerate DocuSign's fundraising machine, amassing more than US$500 million in total and vaulting it to "unicorn" startup status.

Since Mr Krach assumed the helm, the startup has evolved from providing electronic signatures for the real-estate industry to tracking, authenticating and archiving digital documents.

The company expanded to about a dozen offices worldwide and has added customers in insurance, financial, pharmaceuticals, consumer goods and other industries.

Mr Krach told employees in October that a search for his replacement was under way. DocuSign retained an executive search firm. It had identified a top candidate, but he backed out shortly before the announcement after he received an offer by "another company with unlimited resources," DocuSign said in March.


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