DocuSign hires former Google exec Allan Thygesen as its new CEO


Shares of DocuSign Inc., the electronic signature software company, rose more than 3% today after it announced that Allan Thygesen is taking over as its new chief executive officer.

Thygesen (pictured) is an experienced hand, who was most recently serving at Google LLC as its president of the Americas and global partners. As part of that role, he headed up Google’s $100 billion advertising business, a job that should ensure he’s well-prepared to take the reins at DocuSign.

Thygesen joins a company that is established as a leader in the electronic signature business. DocuSign’s name is pretty iconic in the business world. It provides a cloud platform that enables users to sign documents electronically. The company says that it has more than 1 billion users and more than 1 million customers worldwide, including many major enterprises.

Recently though, DocuSign has struggled to grow as fast as some of its backers would like, and the company’s stock has taken a beating. It has fallen more than 65% in the year to date, and is now down 80% from a year earlier.

DocuSign’s plunging value might be a little harsh on the company, considering it reported healthy revenue of $622 million in its most recent earnings report, up 22% from a year earlier. The company also has an annual revenue run rate of close to $2.5 billion, making it hard to argue that it isn’t running a healthy business.

However, some investors were clearly hoping for more than this. DocuSign notably grew rapidly during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic as its tools enabled people to keep doing business without meeting face-to-face. However, as the pandemic abated and in-person meetings became a more regular occurrence, the company’s growth slowed considerably. Former CEO Dan Springer clearly felt the writing was on the wall, though it was still something of a surprise when he handed in his resignation in June.

Since Springer’s departure, DocuSign has been led by interim CEO Maggie Wilderotter. In a statement today, she said there is no better person than Thygesen to take the company forward.
“He is a customer-focused innovator with deep experience in e-commerce, the digitalization of business, and leading high-growth scale organizations,” Wilderotter said. “The Board believes that Allan is the right leader to help DocuSign continue to capture the massive market opportunity that lies ahead.”

For his part, Thygesen said he was “honored” to be able to lead the company as it enters its next chapter. “We have a $50 billion global market opportunity that is largely untapped,” he said.

DocuSign certainly has the potential, with a software offering that’s built for the digital age. Not only does the company remove much of the friction around contract signing, but it also provides workflows for key documents. Earlier this year, it announced an end-to-end contract lifecycle management tool integrated with Slack, and has also integrated its tools with Zoom.

Those moves are aimed at helping make DocuSign’s tools more accessible and easier to use with popular collaboration tools. The challenge for DocuSign is most likely going to be around how it expands into other vertical industries.

According to data from Deloitte Touche Ltd., it has already emerged as the most dominant player in the e-signature platform market, with a 75% share of the market. Its main competitors include Adobe Inc.’s Sign, Dropbox Inc.’s HelloSign, and Box Inc.’s Box Sign.

Photo: Shoptalk/YouTube

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