Keith J. Krach
Keith J. Krach
|Residence||San Francisco, California|
|Alma mater||Purdue University(BS)|
|Known for||Co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Ariba|
Chairman and CEO of DocuSign
Chairman, Board of Trustees of Purdue University
Keith J. Krach (born April 1, 1957) is an American businessman, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is currently the chairman of DocuSign, since 2009, and served as CEO for 6 years from 2011-2017. Krach co-founded Ariba, serving as chairman and CEO, and is recognized for his work in B2B Commerce. Krach also served as chairman of the board of Angie’s List and of Purdue University. Krach has announced that his tenure with the DocuSign Board will end on January 1, 2019, after which he will focus on philanthropic and mentorship ventures.
Early life and education
Krach was born in Lakewood, Ohio, to Elda and John Krach. As a child, Krach worked in his father’s machine shop, which inspired him to pursue a B.S. in industrial engineering from Purdue University in 1979, on a General Motors scholarship. While there, he became a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. He subsequently received an M.B.A. from Harvard University Business School, in 1981, on a General Motors fellowship.
GM and other ventures
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. He was one of the founders of GMF Robotics, a joint venture between GM and Fanuc Robotics, which became the largest provider of industrial robots in the world.
In 1988 Krach became a member of the founding team of Rasna Corporation, a mechanical engineering design software company. In 1996, Krach was the first entrepreneur in residence at Benchmark Capital, and in 2008, he became Benchmark's CEO in residence.
From 1996 to 2003, Krach served as co-founder, chairman, and CEO of business-to-business e-commerce company Ariba.
In 2009, Krach became the chairman and in 2011 the CEO of DocuSign, a technology company based in San Francisco and Seattle. As CEO, Krach lead 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 300 million users.
He led successful efforts to secure strategic investments and support from major companies.
DocuSign filed for its IPO in April 2018. As of that date, Krach was the largest individual shareholder unaffiliated with a venture firm.
Board memberships and other roles
Krach was appointed to the Purdue board of trustees in 2007 and served as board chairman from 2009 to 2013. In 2012, he selected Mitch Daniels, the sitting governor of Indiana, to be the 12th president of the university. 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.
Additionally, Krach served as board chairman of Angie’s List from 2011 to 2014. The company went public in 2011.
Krach has taken on recent initiatives to accelerate “digital transformations” on a national and global front. 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.
Awards and recognition
In 1998, Krach was named a top 10 entrepreneur of the year by Red Herring Magazine. In 2000, he received the Technology Pioneer award at the World Economic Forum, in Davos, Switzerland. That same year, he was recognized as one of the top 10 tech execs by Forbes. In 2000 and again in 2015, Krach was named National Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young. Krach earned the Distinguished Engineer Alumni award from Purdue University in 2006, and in 2012 received the Alumni Achievement award from the National College Senior Honor Society. In 2014, Business Insider recognized him as one of the 50 most powerful people in enterprise tech, and the following year, the San Francisco Business Times recognized him as the most admired CEO. Krach was also awarded a Dell Founder 50 award in 2015.
In 2017, Krach was a featured speaker at the F50 Global Capital Summit, an event seeking to bring together global investors with Silicon Valley’s leading venture capitalists. He was additionally a featured speaker at the 2018 Sales 3.0 Conference where he spoke about leadership. In 2018, Krach was highlighted in Profile magazine with a feature detailing his business approach and strategies.
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. In 2014, Purdue dedicated the Krach Leadership Center to him.
Krach is the chairman of the DocuSign IMPACT Foundation, DocuSign’s philanthropic entity. 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.
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 governors for the San Francisco Symphony, and current member of the executive committee of the board of trustees for the Bay Area Discovery Museum. They have five children.
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.
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