Photograph by Kwantae Kim — SurveyMonkey

The company prepares for a new chapter in the wake of the tragic and sudden loss of its former leader.

By Kia Kokalitcheva
July 7, 2015

SurveyMonkey, the California company known for its simple online surveys, is looking forward after the unexpected passing of CEO Dave Goldberg on May 1.

On Tuesday the company will announce that it has finally picked a new permanent leader: Bill Veghte. The former Hewlett-Packard HPQ executive and friend of Goldberg will become SurveyMonkey’s chief executive on August 1.

“SurveyMonkey is an incredible and unusual opportunity,” Veghte told Fortune on Monday evening, ahead of his first meeting with his new employees.

The news follows the company’s Monday announcement that Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook (and Goldberg’s wife), and David Ebersman, chief executive officer of Lyra Health, will join the company’s board. It will be permanently chaired by Zander Lurie, a senior vice president at GoPro GPRO who had temporarily led the company in the wake of Goldberg’s death.

It has been a tumultuous two months for the Palo Alto company, which has had to mourn the loss of its beloved former chief executive while maintaining its momentum. Founded in 1999, SurveyMonkey was acquired by private equity investors in 2009 and refocused on providing software to administer online surveys. That’s when Goldberg, a former Yahoo YHOO executive, took over as CEO.

Despite the disruptions, SurveyMonkey is “a business that’s functioning well,” Veghte told Fortune.

It’s also been a turbulent period for Veghte. Last week, he abruptly left his position at HP, where he spearheaded the company’s upcoming split into two independent businesses, one focused on enterprise technology, and the other on consumer-grade products. Veghte had been at the company since 2010; he joined after a two-decade stint at Microsoft MSFT . In 1990, the Redmond, Wash. company was only a bit larger than SurveyMonkey is today, Veghte said.

Myriad challenges await Veghte. At the time of Goldberg’s passing, SurveyMonkey had around 550 employees and carried a valuation of more than $2 billion—enough to merit a place on Fortune’s Unicorn List. The company was widely expected to go public in the not-too-distant future. Since then, its employees have faced company-wide grief, uncomfortable conversations, and ongoing uncertainty, as a recent story in the New York Times described.

This week’s executive changes are more steps toward healing and stability. By keeping its interim leadership intact and ensuring that its new CEO has close ties to Goldberg, it’s clear that SurveyMonkey wants to preserve both its late CEO’s vision and the trajectory on which he had set the company.

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