SurveyMonkey Names Former HP Exec Veghte to CEO Slot
It’s only fitting that SurveyMonkey, the cloud-based, online survey developer, would appoint a friend of the late Dave Goldberg to helm the company following his accidental passing two months ago.
The 16-year old company officially announced that Bill Veghte, a close friend of Goldberg’s who was mentored and advised by him, will step into his shoes. Goldberg, who passed away on May 1, served as SurveyMonkey’s chief executive for the prior six years. Ironically, he reportedly had tried a number of times, albeit to no avail, to get his college friend Veghte to join SurveyMonkey’s board of directors.
Veghte, HP’s (HPQ) former Enterprise Group vice president and former chief operating officer, last week announced his intention to exit the company later this summer ahead of its planned November split into two separate, publicly-held entities. He will move into his new seat at SurveyMonkey in August and join its board.
“We brainstormed a lot about the future of SurveyMonkey when we were talking about the board, and the opportunities to take this company from surveys to a broader insights platform and a core decision-making tool,” Veghte told Re/code of his relationship with Goldberg. “Dave had a real vision that I hope I can help deliver with this amazing team.”
SurveyMonkey chairman Zander Lurie, told Re/code that the company’s search team had examined some 75 candidates for the CEO job, including a number of internal executives such as CTO Selina Tobaccowala and Tim Maly, its COO and CFO. Twelve candidates were interviewed before SurveyMonkey’s board elected Veghte to the post, Re/code reported.
Prior to Veghte’s ascension to CEO, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook (FB) COO and Goldberg’s widow, joined SurveyMonkey’s board as did David Ebersman, former Facebook CFO.
“The common thread in Bill’s work is his skill in working with teams to increase the global reach of great businesses,” Sandberg said.
SurveyMonkey, which employs some 500 people and commands a $2 billion market capitalization, may be an IPO candidate down the road, in a process that Veghte presumably will shepherd the company through.
Speaking on the loss of Goldberg, Veghte told Re/code that his passing “has been a tragic loss for everyone and I share in this loss too, since he was a friend and mentor. But this company he built has the ability to take his legacy and move forward.”