- DocuSign said its CFO, Cynthia Gaylor, informed the San Francisco, Calif.- based electronic signature company of her intent to step down in the coming months.
- The departure of Gaylor — who began her post as CFO only in September of 2022 — “is not a result of any disagreement regarding the company's financial statements or disclosures, the company said in a statement on Thursday.
- The CFO transition happens against the backdrop of the California Department of Financial Protection closing of the embattled Silicon Valley Bank and appointing the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. as receiver. DocuSign was one of the bank’s clients that had signed an exclusivity clause which disabled them from diversifying where they held their money, according to records from the Security and Exchange Commission, CNBC reported.
The contract required required the companies, DocuSign included, to open or maintain bank accounts with SVB and use the firm for all or most of their banking services, CNBC reported. The FDIC insures up to $250,000 in deposits for each client, which is problematic now that SVB has been seized by regulators after its swift demise.
“In short, we believe the SVB situation is immaterial to DocuSign,” wrote Chief Legal Officer Jim Shaughnessy in a comapny statement Monday. “We have diversified our banking relationships with global banks and today we collect a limited amount of cash payments through SVB. It is an immaterial amount, and we believe there would be no significant impacts to the company even if the U.S. federal government was not protecting all deposits,” he wrote.
Gaylor’s departure is not SVB related, a company spokesperson wrote to CFO Dive.
The CFO transition plan also comes on the heels of DocuSign expanding its leadership team back in January. Robert Chatwani was appointed to the role of president and general manager of growth, and Anwar Akram was named chief operating officer.
DocuSign has now initiated a search, led by CEO Allan Thygesen, and Gaylor will remain in her role to “ensure a smooth transition,” including through the filing of the company’s first quarter earnings results, the company said.
Before moving up the ranks to the CFO seat, Gaylor was DocuSign’s audit committee chair since December 2018, and her resume includes corporate finance roles at J.P Morgan, Morgan Stanley, head of corporate development at Twitter and most recently, senior vice president and CFO of Pivotal Software Inc. from May 2016 to July 2019, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Following Gaylor’s departure announcement, DocuSign’s stock fell nearly 14% in premarket trading on Friday and Wall Street analysts expressed concern over the transition plan, Seeking Alpha reported.
Meanwhile, the electronic signature company has recently gone through two rounds of layoffs — the first in September which cut 9% of its workforce and most recently in February cutting 10%.
Although DocuSign reported an increase in revenue of 19% year-over-year, executives warned of macroeconomic headwinds as well.
“When you look at the macro environment, it certainly hasn’t gotten better and you could probably tend to say we’ve gotten a little bit worse,” Gaylor said on a March 9 earnings call for DocuSign’s fourth quarter financial results.
Other companies in the tech industry have also cut back on spending with the murky economic outlook —Alphabet Inc., nCino and Stitch Fix to name a few.
Trends pointing to decreased demand and increased competition from companies like Adobe were other factors for firms like J.P. Morgan cutting DocuSign shares “to underweight from neutral,” the Wall Street Journal reported.
This story has been updated to include details of the exclusivity clause DocuSign had with failed Silicon Valley Bank.