Brief: How a crowded boardroom hurt $3b startup DocuSign
- US company DocuSign, founded in 2003 and valued at US$3 billion, expects to file for an IPO late this year or early next, says new CEO Dan Springer. That’s later than expected. The maker of electronic document verification software has been floating IPO plans since at least 2013.
- People familiar with the discussions have said that DocuSign’s sluggishness is partly due to its untypically large board which slows down decision-making.
- The search for a new CEO took unusually long, too. Springer, a cloud business veteran, took over a few months ago. The post had been vacant for more than a year.
- DocuSign also passed on multiple acquisition offers, including from Microsoft and Visa, reportedly because the board couldn’t come to an agreement.
- Experts emphasize that larger-than-usual boards tend to do more harm than good. DocuSign has 12 directors. That’s more than most public companies and nearly double the size of the average board at a private firm, according to a US trade group, the National Association of Corporate Directors.
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