Keith J. Krach

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Keith J. Krach
Keith J. Krach official photo.jpg
Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment
Former
In office
June 21, 2019 – January 20, 2021
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byCatherine A. Novelli
Succeeded byMarcia Bernicat (acting)
Personal details
Born (1957-04-01) April 1, 1957 (age 63)
Lakewood, Ohio
NationalityUnited States
Spouse(s)Metta Krach; Jennifer S Krach (div. 2004)
Children5
ParentsJohn Krach
Elda Krach
ResidenceSan Francisco, California
EducationPurdue University (BS)
Harvard University (MBA)
OccupationBusinessman
Websitewww.keithkrach.com

Keith J. Krach (born April 1, 1957) is an American businessman and economist. He is the former chairman and CEO of DocuSign.[1] Krach co-founded Ariba, and was chairman and CEO,[2] and is recognized for his work in B2B Commerce and Digital Transaction Management.[3] Krach was chairman of the board of Angie’s List.[4] Krach was the youngest-ever Vice President of General Motors. He was Chairman of the board of Trustees for Purdue University.[4]

In April 2019, he was confirmed by the Senate to become Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment in the Trump administration. He was succeeded by acting senior official Marcia Bernicat.

Early life and education[edit]

Krach was born in Lakewood, Ohio, to Elda and John Krach,[5] and was raised in the small town of Rocky River, Ohio.[6] Krach says that his first and most important mentors were his parents. Krach's father was “the best leader I’ve ever known in my life. He certainly modeled one heck of a work ethic,” said Krach in a 2017 interview.[7]

At the age of 12, Krach worked as a welder in his father's machine shop,[6] an experience which inspired him to pursue a B.S. in industrial engineering from Purdue University.[8] During his sophomore year (1977), Krach received one of two General Motors scholarships awarded to Purdue engineering students. The scholarship paid for tuition, books, a living stipend, summer jobs with the automaker, and a full-time position with the company in Detroit following graduation.[9]

After graduating from Purdue in 1979, Krach received a fellowship which also included half salary from General Motors to study for an M.B.A. from Harvard University Business School. Upon completion of his master's degree in 1981, he joined GM full time.[8]

Business career[edit]

GM and other ventures[edit]

Keith Krach with Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors

Krach began his career at General Motors where he worked at GM's Cadillac Division and Technical Center in Detroit, Michigan and the New York Treasurer's Office under Rick Wagoner. He was named GM's youngest-ever vice president, at 26, in 1984.[10] He was one of the founders of GMF Robotics, a joint venture between GM and Fanuc Robotics,[2] which became the largest provider of industrial robots in the world.[11][2]

Silicon Valley[edit]

Krach left GM and took a job at startup software company Qronos.[12] He joined Qronos as its number 2 executive in 1987 but left after nine months over what he called a conflict over values with the CEO.[12]

In 1988 Krach became a member of the founding team of Rasna Corporation, a mechanical engineering design software company that was sold to PTC for $500 million in 1995.[13] In 1996, Krach was the first entrepreneur in residence at Benchmark Capital, and in 2008, he became a Benchmark CEO in residence.[14]

Ariba[edit]

From 1996 to 2003, Krach served as co-founder, chairman, and CEO of business-to-business e-commerce company Ariba.[15] In 1999, Krach took Ariba public on Nasdaq, with an initial valuation of $6 billion, which grew to $40 billion by 2000, making it one of the first internet software companies to go public.[2]

In 2000, Krach led the $400 million acquisition of online business auction company Trading Dynamics Inc., and the $1.4 billion acquisition of Tradex software maker for building online communities of buyers and sellers.[16][17]

DocuSign[edit]

Nasdaq CEO Adina Friedman congratulates Keith Krach on his third IPO on Nasdaq

In 2009, Krach became the chairman and in 2011 the CEO of DocuSign, a technology company which provides electronic signature and digital transaction management solutions.[18] As CEO, Krach led the creation of the Digital Transaction Management category and the building of the DocuSign Global Trust Network which comprises more than 320,000 companies and 400 million users in 188 countries.[19][20]

He led successful efforts to secure strategic investments and support from major companies such as SAP, Google, Salesforce, Visa, Dell, Intel, Samsung, NTT, Mitsui, Telstra, Comcast, FedEx, Deutsche Telekom, and the nation of Singapore.[21][22]

In January 2017, Krach named his successor as CEO of DocuSign, with his tenure as chairman ending in January 2019.[23] He received a 97% CEO rating on Glassdoor.[24][25]

DocuSign filed for its IPO in April 2018. As of that date, Krach was the largest individual shareholder unaffiliated with a venture firm.[26]

In an interview with Inside Philanthropy, Krach signaled his intention to focus more on philanthropy upon stepping down as DocuSign chairman. He stated, "I think we’re at a place in life where it's really time to give back and pay it forward."[27]

Board memberships and other roles[edit]

From 2006 to 2009, Krach served on the board of directors of XOJet,[28] and from 2007 to 2011, on the board of Ooma.[29]

From 2005 to 2011, Krach served as CEO of 3Points, an investment holding company based in Los Gatos, California.[4]

Additionally, Krach served as board chairman of Angie's List from 2011 to 2014. The company went public in 2011.[30]

Krach has taken on recent initiatives to accelerate “digital transformations” on a national and global front.[6] In 2017, he was named to the NYCx Technology Leadership Advisory Council, a diverse group of technology and community leaders selected by New York City's Mayor, Bill de Blasio.[31][32]

General Stanley McChrystal and Krach

Krach is the founder of the Virtual Mentor Network. The organization connects young people with industry leaders through a video-based platform piloted in 2018 with retired four-star General Stanley McChrystal, former NASA Administrator Dan Goldin, City Year Founder Michael Brown, and former Deutsche Bank COO Kim Hammonds.[33]

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 1998, Krach was named a top 10 entrepreneur of the year by Red Herring Magazine.[8] In 2000, he received the Technology Pioneer award at the World Economic Forum, in Davos, Switzerland.[34] That same year, he was recognized as one of the top 10 tech execs by Forbes.[3] In 2000 and again in 2015, Krach was named National Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young.[35] Krach earned the Distinguished Engineer Alumni award from Purdue University in 2006,[8] and in 2012 received the Alumni Achievement award from the National College Senior Honor Society.[36] In 2014, Business Insider recognized him as one of the 50 most powerful people in enterprise tech,[37] and the following year, the San Francisco Business Times recognized him as the most admired CEO.[38] Krach was also awarded a Dell Founder 50 award in 2015.[39] In 2018, Krach received the Life & News 2018 Transformational Leader of the Year award[13] and in 2019 Harvard Business School's 2019 Business Leader of the Year award.[40]

He also received an honorary doctorate from Ohio Northern University in 2015 in Business Administration.[41]

Keith and Metta Krach with Daughter Emma, receiving the City Year Citizen Leadership award.

In October 2018, City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley honored Keith and Metta Krach with the City Year Citizen Leadership Award for their service to the Bay Area community and to the organization.[42] The Krach family has given back to the organization through grants, product contributions, and event participation to support shared interest in education, mentorship, and leadership, and this recognition was the first time the organization has honored a couple with the award.[43][44]

In 2019, Krach was awarded a lifetime achievement award by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, a non-profit advocacy group that represents more than 390 Silicon Valley firms.[45]

Higher education[edit]

Keith Krach stands with Mitch Daniels, President of Purdue University
Significant Sigs Drew Brees and Keith Krach

In 2005, Sigma Chi Fraternity named Krach its 64th international president. He served through 2007. The fraternity also awarded him the 1979 International Balfour Award, which is given to the outstanding graduating senior fraternity wide.[46]

Upon his election as the 64th Grand Consul, Krach unveiled the 150th anniversary strategic plan that pivoted the vision of the 350,000-member association to become the preeminent collegiate leadership development organization, with the sole mission of the development of values-based leaders, committed to the betterment of character, campus and community.[47]

During his six-year term as Chairman of the Sigma Chi Leadership Training Board, he led the development and launch of Horizons Leadership Summit in Snowbird, Utah and secured funding from the L.G. Balfour Foundation to endow Leadership Training Workshop in 1997.[48]

Krach has been honored with Sigma Chi's Significant Sig Award, and the Order of Constantine Award.[49]

Indiana governor Mitch Daniels appointed Krach to the Purdue board of trustees in 2007 and he served as board chairman from 2009 to 2013.[50] In 2012, he recruited Daniels to be the 12th president of the university.[51] During Krach's tenure, Purdue froze tuition and saw record research funding and philanthropic giving of more than $1 billion.[52]

Krach currently serves on the Engineering Leadership Council (ELC).[52]

Krach received an honorary doctorate in industrial engineering from Purdue University in 2018 in recognition for his accomplishments as an entrepreneur, early pioneer in robotics, and as chairman of the board of trustees.[53]

Philanthropy[edit]

Krach with Special Olympics Chairman Tim Shriver

Krach is the chairman of the DocuSign IMPACT Foundation, DocuSign's philanthropic entity. He established the $30 Million DocuSign IMPACT Foundation with a mission to transform recipient entities by using DocuSign technology to streamline operations and make them more efficient.[54] This nonprofit foundation provides a 1-for-1 match for DocuSign's employees for nonprofit entities such as the Special Olympics, Team Rubicon, Techbridge Girls, Free The Children, and New Story. Krach serves as Advisory Board Chairman for New Story, which, among other causes, provided disaster relief initiative for Haiti after Hurricane Matthew in 2016.[55]

Krach gave a $1 million gift to City Year for the organization's San Jose and Silicon Valley branch to reach about 1,000 students at 12 elementary and middle schools through after-school programs focused on teaching science, technology, engineering, and math. The grant also funds a team of school-based AmeriCorps members, including opportunities for professional development.[56]

Krach co-founded the Children's Autistic Network and served on the board of governors for Opportunity International.[50][57]

In August 2018, Krach made an endowment-level gift to the Sigma Chi Foundation that will establish the Krach Transformational Leaders Workshop. This will replace the Balfour Leadership Training Workshop as the largest leadership training event in the Greek-letter fraternal world.[58]

Through the Krach Family Foundation, he funded the Keith Krach leadership scholarship at Purdue University. It has been awarded to five students each year, since 2009.[59] In 2014, Purdue dedicated the Krach Leadership Center to him.[60]

Author, speaker, and lecturer[edit]

Keith Krach onstage with Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM

Krach is a frequent contributing writer for Forbes, Entrepreneur, and the World Economic Forum on various topics.[61][62][63]

Government service[edit]

Keith Krach testifies at his Senate committee hearing
Krach sworn in as Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment by John J. Sullivan in 2019

On June 20, 2019, Krach was confirmed by the Senate as Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, United States Alternate Governor of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and United States Alternate Governor of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

He served as the country's top economic diplomat for the State Department.[64] The position is commonly referred to as the “E” within the department.

His responsibilities included international trade and investment policy; international finance, development, and debt policy; economic sanctions and combating terrorist financing; international energy security policy; international telecommunications and transportation policies; support for U.S. businesses, and economic policy analysis, public diplomacy, and private sector outreach.

He was also charged with advancing the State Department's economic development agenda; elevating and intensifying the Department's efforts related to energy security, clean energy, and environmental sustainability; and fostering innovation through robust science, entrepreneurship, and technology policies. He covered issues ranging from space to the oceans, with the goal of advancing U.S. strategic interests through policy aimed at ensuring that economic growth and a healthy planet go hand in hand.[65]

His stated mission was to lead economic statecraft initiatives to enhance economic growth, energy security and the health of the planet, in order maximize national security and advance the interests of United States citizens.[65][66][67] Several bureaus and offices fell within the purview of the E family, including the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, the Bureau of Energy Resources, the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, the Office of the Chief Economist and the Office of the Science & Technology Adviser.[68]

Two individuals in formal attire outside a building with formal steps.
Keith and Metta Krach

Krach served as United States Alternate Governor of The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; United States Alternate Governor of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development; and United States Alternate Governor of the Inter-American Development Bank. The Under Secretary was the designated Ombudsperson for the U.S.-EU and U.S.-Swiss Privacy Shield Frameworks.[69]

Nomination and confirmation[edit]

Senator Ben Cardin talking
Senator Cardin discusses Krach's nomination during committee hearings.

In Krach's testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he stated that as head of economic diplomacy, his focus would be on embracing this opportunity and harnessing three areas of competitive advantage: strengthening our partnerships with friends and allies, leveraging the innovation and resources of the private sector, and amplifying the moral high ground of our American values and enduring optimism to advance peace and prosperity for our country and for the world.[67]

Democratic Senator Ben Cardin said Krach's testimony "was one of the most impressive I have heard."[70] Krach was confirmed by unanimous voice vote in the Senate.[71]

Pandemic response[edit]

In the spring and summer of 2020, Krach and his State Department team supported efforts to repatriate more than 60,000 Americans who were stranded overseas by the coronavirus pandemic, and also worked to accelerate supply chains for PPE and other vital supplies to safeguard the lives of healthcare workers, patients, and American families.[72]

In March 2020, an article was published by Bloomberg, stating that Krach had made a billion dollars as a result of a runup in DocuSign's stock price, stating that Krach "benefited from a pandemic that's left millions of Americans unemployed." Bloomberg retracted the article and published a letter to the editor from Krach titled "Public Service Is Worth More Than a Billion." In his letter, Krach pointed out that "I divested my entire stake in DocuSign and my other holdings as a condition of joining the federal government, meaning I profited in no way."[72]

He claimed the misstatement jeopardized the mission and credibility of his worldwide team as they were responded to the myriad issues spawned by the pandemic and had the potential to undermine the work of thousands of civil servants and foreign service officers by undercutting their ability to operate with the trust necessary to accomplish the mission.[72]

Congress[edit]

Krach advanced bipartisan legislation before Congress. He and his team developed the concept and worked with Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on the $100 billion technology research funding bill called the Endless Frontier Act (S.3832) to give the United States more resources to compete in the tech economy.

They also developed and championed with U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Mark Warner (D-VA) the CHIPS for America Act (S. 3933) for securing the technological future which would ensure the next generation of semiconductors are made in US instead of china by onshoring for semiconductor companies like TSMC.

Because Krach developed Global Economic Security Strategy, he worked closely with Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Todd Young (R-IN), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Chris Coons (D-DE), to produce the bill called the Global Economic Security Strategy of 2019 Act (S.2826) which creates a statutory requirement for future administrations to produce a Global Economic Security Strategy (GESS) and submit it to Congress. The goal would be to promote free and fair economic relationships between the United States and foreign countries.[73]

Personal life[edit]

Keith and Metta Krach in 2017

Krach lives in San Francisco, California. He is married to Metta Krach, former senior corporate counsel at Gap Inc., current member of the board of visitors for Georgetown Law School,[74] board of governors for the San Francisco Symphony,[75] and current member of the executive committee of the board of trustees for the Bay Area Discovery Museum.[76] They have five children.[18]

In 2015, Krach successfully caught a thief who had taken his iPhone from his hands. As he chased the thief, he was spotted by police officers, who eventually apprehended the thief. Upon confirming Krach's identity, they provided him with a “legal loophole,” which enabled him to recover his phone sooner, rather than having it impounded as evidence. Krach claimed the officers had recently used DocuSign and shared their positive experiences with him.[25]

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External links[edit]