DocuSign had a new CEO all lined up — and then something happened.
The digital signature company had scheduled media briefings with its next CEO, in advance of an April 4 announcement, but canceled the briefings overnight, saying that the executive had backed out and gone to another company.
“Once he announced plans to leave his current role, another company with unlimited resources approached him with an offer. After careful consideration, he chose to join the other company,” the company said in a statement. “DocuSign’s primary focus remains on bringing in a world class leader as successor CEO, and we will continue to engage with the best and the brightest in that search.”
A spokesman declined to name the executive or the company he is joining instead.
DocuSign, which has raised $525 million and is said to be valued at more than $3 billion, has large operations in Seattle and San Francisco. The company has been searching for a new CEO since at least October 2015, when current CEO Keith Krach indicated in an internal memo that he was planning to step down as CEO. Krach said at the time, “with the company on such solid footing, now is the perfect time to move forward with our succession plans.”
Krach, who has been CEO for the past 5 years, said at the time that he would continue until a successor was selected. Then he would move on to provide leadership and strategic advice for the company as DocuSign’s chairman — a position he said he planned to hold for at least three years.
In February, Fortune reported that DocuSign founder and chief strategy officer Tom Gonser would step back from his role. The company said in an e-mail today that Gonser remains involved with the company as “founder and evangelist for the company.”
Here is the full text of the statement from DocuSign on the CEO search.
DocuSign was on the verge of announcing our successor CEO. It is the top software CEO search today. The objective of our built-to-last succession plan is to attract the highest caliber talent, and purposely we never set a timeline for the decision. All of the individuals interviewed were outstanding – and this candidate was among the best of the best.
Once he announced plans to leave his current role, another company with unlimited resources approached him with an offer. After careful consideration, he chose to join the other company.
DocuSign’s primary focus remains on bringing in a world class leader as successor CEO, and we will continue to engage with the best and the brightest in that search.
DocuSign’s hyper growth has accelerated, and we are pleased to share an update on our momentum. The DocuSign Global Trust Network now has more than 225,000 companies and more than 85 million users in 188 countries, and we’re adding an average of 85,000 new unique users per day – representing 150% year over year user growth.