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DocuSign's Incoming CEO Bolts At The Last Minute

"Another company with unlimited resources approached him with an offer," DocuSign said.

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An executive who had been poised to join the software startup DocuSign as its new CEO made an eleventh-hour decision to join another company instead, DocuSign said on Thursday.

The executive, whom DocuSign did not identify, changed his mind after "another company with unlimited resources approached him with an offer," the startup said. "After careful consideration, he chose to join the other company."

The San Francisco-based DocuSign, which makes electronic signature software, has been valued by investors at $3 billion and was reported to be pursuing an initial public offering.

Its current CEO and chairman, Keith Krach, announced last fall that he would step down as CEO once the company found a successor, according to a Recode report at the time. Two other executives, including founder Tom Gonser, also handed in their resignations, Fortune reported last month.

The change of heart by the would-be successor to Krach will likely raise additional questions about DocuSign's future. DocuSign had been confident enough in this person's intentions to join that it had set up briefings with at least one reporter.

"Canceling DocuSign Briefing," read the subject line of an email sent by a spokesperson to BuzzFeed News on Thursday.

The full email is copied below:

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.

William Alden is a business reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco. Alden covers the technology industry.

Contact William Alden at will.alden@buzzfeed.com.

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