DocuSign’s Daniel Springer Prepares to Lead Another Software Giant to its IPO

Earlier this year, DocuSign ended its lengthy search for a new leader, deciding to offer the position to Responsys former Chief Executive Officer and founder Daniel Springer.

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After an at least 15-month search, Springer was appointed as the CEO of the software giant, one of the tech industry’s most valuable private firms. Springer, who most recently led Responsys through its launch in 2004, its initial public offering in 2011 and its sale to Oracle Corp. for $1.6 billion in 2014, took over for outgoing CEO Keith Krach after a three year break from the corporate world.

Before a decade at Responsys, Box’s new CEO held various leadership positions including Managing Director at Modem Media, CEO at Telleo Inc., CMO at NextCard and a consultant at McKinsey & Company. Springer, who holds an MBA from Harvard and an AB in Mathematics and Economics from Occidental College, has served on the board of handfuls of influential organizations including nonprofits YearUp,, AdTech and the Urban School, as well as both private and public companies.

At Docusign, Springer has prioritized “turbo-charging” the firm’s international expansion. Over the recent months, the company has doubled down on growth initiatives in Europe and Asia, particularly in Japan and Brazil. The new CEO will also help Docusign continue to launch new products on top of its software, which began as an eSignature platform at the core and has since then expanded to offer other features related to digital transactions.

“Most of my time is spent with customers, developers, employees and partners to identity opportunities to further innovate our products and services to help customers achieve success,” said Springer. “I’m also highly focused on our culture and making DocuSign the best place each of our employees have ever worked.”

The CEO told Geek Wire in an interview that he prefers an all-glass workspace so that he can see his colleagues and sense their energy, along with a "nice-sized table for impromptu meetings." While the CEO is laid back on things such as dress code, wearing jeans or slacks and the occasional sweater, he is very disciplined on keeping his team productive. Springer says he runs meetings “aggressively” and “with a lot of energy,” hoping that everyone leaves with "clear direction, a sense of accomplishment, and next steps.”

Springer, who self-identifies as a “product guy at heart,” says DocuSign is a “fantastic company” with a lot of scale and room for growth, making it a “fantastic ground for innovation.” The new CEO will be based in San Francisco, where DocuSign is headquartered.

In May 2015, DocuSign reached a whopping $3 billion valuation after a $233 million funding round, bringing its total raised to about $512 million. Investors include Intel Capital, Bain Capital Ventures, Akkadian Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Google Ventures. In September, DocuSign listed 250,000 business customers and 100 million issuers, adding 130,000 new users daily. Springer says that the company built out its volume of transactions by about 70% from 2015 to 2016. “It’s healthy growth with a lot of potential,” he said. “There’s nothing that I can see that would stand in the way of DocuSign becoming a public company.”

The pre-IPO company has cycled through CEOs since its founding in 2003 by Tom Gonser and Court Lorenzini. Krach’s predecessor lasted only 18 months after taking over for another CEO who ran the company for just three years after co-founder Lorenzini.

In March 2016, DocuSign had a false start when it was forced to cancel a press briefing to announce its new CEO, who reportedly opted out last minute for a job at Google. Springer had declined to purse the role last year as he sought more time with his teenage sons after the time and energy-consuming Responsys acquisition. After three years as a stay-at-home dad, and with his one son now in college and the other applying, the timing was just right for the tech executive to take on a new challenge.

While work has returned as a major focus for Springer at the multi-billion-dollar software industry leader, he says he’d still prefer not to miss a single lacrosse game of his sons’.