15 Aug 2017
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The Category Kingmaker

Keith Krach's 35-year quest to increase the world’s productivity

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Photo via Profile Magazine

It seems that Keith Krach (MBA 1981) has never met a tech segment he didn’t like—or disrupt.

Over a 35-year career, Krach has built four game-changing companies, in the fields of robotics, engineering software, e-commerce, and, most recently, digital transaction management. Each was a category disruptor in its industry, became the market leader, generated significant shareholder value, and provided a series of stepping stones for this energetic entrepreneur. “The principles, strategies, and tactics utilized were essentially the same, while learning new successful concepts along the way with each successive company,” says Krach, who until recently was CEO and chairman of DocuSign. Early this year he handed the CEO reins to Dan Springer (MBA 1991), while retaining his chair status.

According to a recent article in Profile Magazine, Krach began his career as the youngest-ever vice president of General Motors, at the age of 26. He was also the founder of GMF Robotics, a joint venture between GM and Fanuc. From there, Krach joined the founding team of Rasna Corporation, which created a new methodology for optimizing mechanical designs. Later, he became the first entrepreneur-in-residence at Benchmark Capital, working with his fellow founders to launch Ariba, the first enterprise application on the Internet, which established the category of B2B e-commerce. SAP acquired Ariba in 2012 and now has $1.3 trillion going through the Ariba network annually, which is more than eBay, Amazon, and Alibaba combined.

“Our success was not timing, not a fluke, not good luck,” Krach says about the success of Ariba. “It was simply recognizing the profound patterns, looking for the need, the paradigm shift, assembling the team, and giving them a clear mission.”

Read more: http://profilemagazine.com/2017/docusigns-keith-krachs-thirty-five-year-quest-to-increase-the-worlds-productivity/

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Class of MBA 1981, Section B
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