Keith J. Krach is an American businessman, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is a Silicon Valley veteran, known for being a transformational leader on a global scale, builder of high-performance teams, innovative entrepreneur, predictor of technological paradigm shifts, passionate mentor and creator of categories such as Business-to-Business (B2B) e-Commerce, Mechanical Design Synthesis, and Digital Transaction Management (DTM).
Having built multiple global enterprises, Keith Krach has now dedicated himself to a new mission: Paying it forward—by serving to inspire and mentor a new generation of transformational leaders in the public, private, and social sectors. Driven by a deep generosity of spirit, Krach is committed to building leadership skills that will ultimately improve standards of living and quality of life for everyone, all over the world.
A hallmark of Keith Krach’s career is cross-cultural understanding and leadership on a global scale. At DocuSign, Krach led the dramatic expansion of the company into 188 countries. Deep strategic partnerships with global giants like Telstra (Australia), Deutsche Telekom (Germany), and NTT (Japan) have been a centerpiece of Krach’s approach, bringing these companies on as investors, customers and resellers. His expansion strategy has also included international acquisitions: Comprova in Brasil, OpenTrust in France and ARX in Israel.
As founder and CEO of Ariba, Krach grew the company into a global powerhouse. Today the Ariba Network connects buyers and suppliers from more than three million companies and 180 countries processing more than $1.6 Trillion in transactions worldwide.
Throughout his career, Krach has led several joint ventures in Japan, including General Motors and Fanuc Robotics in the early ‘80s, Rasna and Kuboto, and Ariba and Softbank.
When he served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Purdue University, Krach led the creation of Purdue University Global, making online degree programs from Purdue available everywhere in the world. According to Krach, “Business is global, but trust is local. Business is all about trusted relationships. Respect and celebrate the countries’ cultures and traditions. And never forget, you only get one chance to make a first impression.”
Childhood and Education
Keith Krach grew up in Rocky River, Ohio, and worked beside his dad in a 4-person machine shop learning Midwestern values and work ethic that remain at his core as a leader today. General Motors awarded Krach full scholarships to pursue his Industrial Engineering Degree from Purdue and his MBA from Harvard. That generosity and opportunity imprinted a deep desire to give back, expect the best, and appreciate the value and potential of every individual.
Keith Krach began his career at General Motors, becoming the GM’s youngest vice president at the age of 26. He led the formation of the company’s first Japanese joint-venture, GMF Robotics, an alliance between GM and Fanuc Robotics, which gave rise to what remains as the largest robotics company in the world today. After his 10 years with GM, he joined the founding team of Rasna Corporation in Silicon Valley, which created a new methodology for optimizing mechanical designs. Under his leadership, Rasna rose to the rank of #3 on the INC. 5000 list of fastest growing companies until being acquired by Parametric Technologies in 1995.
In 1996, Krach co-founded Ariba serving as Chairman & CEO. Krach took Ariba public in 2000, ultimately achieving a market capitalization of $40 billion and building one of the fastest-growing software companies in history. In honor of his accomplishment of creating the category of B2B Electronic Commerce, Ernst & Young named Krach the 2000 National Entrepreneur of the Year, and the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland honored Krach with the Technology Pioneer Award. Today, $1.3 trillion of commerce is transacted annually through the Ariba network, which is more than Amazon, eBay and Alibaba combined.
Krach later went on to the Chairman of the Board for Angie’s List and was instrumental in taking the company public as the nation’s leading provider of consumer reviews for home services. He has served as the International President of Sigma Chi Fraternity, transforming the mission to the development of values-based leaders, committed to the betterment of character, campus and community. Krach also, serves as the Chairman for the DocuSign Impact Foundation with mission of transforming people’s lives by transforming noble causes.
In 2007, Krach had the honor of being appointed to the Purdue Board of Trustees and elected by fellow Board members to serve as Chairman from 2009-2013. In 2012, Krach appointed Mitch Daniels, the sitting Governor of Indiana, to be the 12th President of the University, a decision he believes will prove to be one of the boldest and most impactful moves made in the history of higher education.
In 2009, Krach joined DocuSign as board chairman, and from 2011 to 2017 took on a more direct leadership role as CEO & President. During his time at the helm, Krach spearheaded the company’s transformation from a startup to the category leader and global powerhouse it is today. Krach has received numerous honors in recognition of his leadership at DocuSign: 2016 E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year Award; 2015 Bay Area’s Most Admired CEO; #3 on Forbes World’s Best 100 Cloud Companies; Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work. Krach currently serves as board chairman for DocuSign.
Krach received an honorary doctorate from Ohio Northern University in 2015, and an honorary doctorate in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University in 2018.
Keith Krach and his wife, Metta Krach (B.A. UCLA; J.D. Georgetown), have 5 children between the ages of 32 and 6, and reside in San Francisco.