Skip to Content

DocuSign Chairman: Going Public Can Provide Social Benefits

Take a company public, and CEOs find themselves tasked with balancing the immediate business of generating a profit with the broader task of doing right by all their stakeholders—not just their shareholders, mind you, but their customers, partners, and employees, too.

In other words, a ring of the opening bell on IPO day isn’t just the mark of a financial milestone. It also signals the beginning of an effort to build a legacy that helps build a more inclusive and productive community.

That’s according to Keith Krach, chairman and former CEO of business software company DocuSign, who believes that corporate growth can be socially responsible. Call it, well, conscious capitalism.

“Twenty-two years ago when we formed Ariba, and 19 years ago when we took it public, I asked, should we put money aside for a foundation?” Krach says. “Back then, the belief was that it wasn’t right to take money away from shareholders.” (Ariba was acquired by SAP in 2012.)

Times have changed. In 2015, DocuSign—which recently became a public company—started DocuSign Impact, a foundation that enjoys the support of employees, investors, and the company’s board of directors.

“Being a transformational leader requires change,” Krach says. “Without it, we don’t develop, prosper, or grow.”

Watch the video above for more from Fortune’s interview with Krach.

Members Only” is a video series showcasing executives in Fortune’s membership communities. For more information on how to become a member, visit our pages for Brainstorm Tech, the CEO Initiative, or Most Powerful Women.