So it is not altogether surprising that consultants Ernst & Young crowned Keith Krach their “Cloud Service Entrepreneur 2015”. For the second time. The tall American already won the award in 2000. “Keith is a world class entrepreneur,” stated Mary Meeker, KPCB Partner & DocuSign Board Member, outlining the reasons for his second victory. “He‘s a pioneer in the fields of robotics, e-commerce and the digitization of business,“ she continued. “Brilliance, dedication, creativity and energy,” these are the attributes that colleagues used to describe him.
In Silicon Valley, the father of five who today lives in San Francisco is now part of the legendary network of Silicon Valley icons. Never seen without a jacket and tie, he certainly doesn’t belong to the tech crowd of nerds who work from their bedrooms. Krach radiates a natural authority. When he talks, people automatically listen. At the age of 26 he was the youngest Vice President at US car maker General Motors, but then he wanted to go his own way. He swapped his management career in the 1980s for an uncertain future as an entrepreneur. “Everybody thought I was crazy,” Krach remembers. Today he is regarded as a trailblazer in the automation and digitization of business processes. He founded his first start-up, Rasna Corporation, at the end of the 1980s. His idea of integrating computer-based designs into automated processes was revolutionary at the time. The young entrepreneur was one of the first to network and automate industrial processes using robots. In the 1990s, Krach sold the software company – cue “Goldfinger” – for 500 million dollars and set up Ariba. Once again with a revolutionary idea: the automation of management processes. He would continue in the same vein when he took over the start-up DocuSign in 2011.
Today, the Purdue and Harvard graduate is mentioned in the same breath as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. He has worked with Craig Federighi who is responsible for software development at Apple, Jim Steele and David Rudnitsky – both co-founders of Salesforce and current managers at Insidesales. John Chambers and Peter Solvik, for many years the CEO/CIO double act at Cisco Systems, were also among Krach’s influential companions in arms. Some network.