In October of 2015, DocuSign CEO Keith Krach announced he would be stepping down from the top job at the digital signature giant as soon as the company found a replacement.
The CEO search that followed has been closely watched, and hasn’t gone as smoothly as the company hoped: in March of last year, an unnamed CEO appointee that was set to be announced by the company backed out at the eleventh hour, closely followed by a flurry of resignations among DocuSign’s top leadership.
But more than a year after the search began, DocuSign has found a new leader: cloud tech veteran Daniel Springer. Springer is best-known for his work at Responsys, a cloud tech company that he founded in 2004. He served as CEO of the company for more than ten years, eventually overseeing its $1.6 billion acquisition by Oracle at the end of 2013.
Springer told GeekWire in an interview that he has been focusing his time on his family since the sale, but with one of his sons at college and the next set to finish high school soon, he was excited to jump back into full-time work.
“It’s just a fantastic fit for me. People have been talking about this as the top software CEO search, and I think it is. It’s a fantastic company, it’s got a lot of scale, it’s growing very fast,” Springer said in the interview. “It also feels to me like it’s fantastic grounds for innovation, and I’m really a product guy at heart.”
DocuSign, the top company on the GeekWire 200 index of the Pacific Northwest’s privately held tech companies, was said to be valued at more than $3 billion as of October 2015. The company has raised $525 million from a wide variety of investors.
Over the years, DocuSign has expanded beyond its core e-signature technology to provide a range of electronic contract and digital document services. Springer said the company now has more than 200 million people actively using its platform, and DocuSign is growing its transaction volume by more than 70 percent a year.
While the company’s official headquarters are in San Francisco, DocuSign was founded in Seattle and still has a large presence in the city. Springer said he will also be spending a good deal of time in Seattle at the company’s downtown office.
“It’s almost like we have a two-city core, between San Francisco and Seattle, and so I’ll be planning on spending a lot of time in the market there,” said Springer, who grew up in Seattle. As he said, “Any city where my mom lives is important to me.”
Springer said he also sees opportunities to expand and innovate DocuSign’s business, starting by expanding its international presence. He said the company has seen promising growth in Europe and Asia, and also early signs of growth in South American markets, namely Brazil.
“I think putting the pedal to the metal across those geographies is going to be an exciting thing to do, but really will continue to prove out the global nature of this business,” he said.
The second area of possible growth involves expanding how existing clients are using DocuSign’s technologies, Springer said, noting that many companies use just one or two of DocuSign’s services at the moment.
Springer said managing the company’s growth will be his biggest challenge, as all success comes with growing pains and speed bumps. “As a CEO I like to think my job is to make sure all of the other employees are successful in their jobs, and if I do that well the company will be very successful,” he said.
“After our comprehensive CEO search, I am confident that Dan is the right leader to continue our hyper growth, further strengthen our preeminence in the market, and further inspire the innovative, entrepreneurial, values-based culture of DocuSign,” outgoing DocuSign CEO Keith Krach said in a press release.
Krach will remain the company’s chairman, and under the initial terms of his resignation, will stay in that post for three years. DocuSign founder Tom Gonser will remain the company’s chief strategy officer and will retain his position on the board of directors.