SurveyMonkey Hires New CEO to Replace Dave Goldberg

PALO ALTO, Calif. (San Jose Mercury News/TNS) -

SurveyMonkey, the tech firm that lost CEO Dave Goldberg in May when he suffered a fatal head injury, announced on Tuesday that it has hired a new chief executive to steer the company through its grieving and into a new chapter of growth.

Bill Veghte, a long-time tech professional with stints at tech giants Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard, will take the reins as SurveyMonkey CEO beginning Aug. 1, the company said. He has large shoes to fill: Goldberg, who died at 47 when he fell and hit his head while running on a treadmill at a resort in Mexico, was beloved by his employees and admired throughout the tech industry for his kindness and compassion, as well as his leadership of SurveyMonkey.

Zander Lurie, a GoPro executive who in May took over as temporary executive chairman of the board at SurveyMonkey to help in the search for a new CEO, said in a statement that Veghte has both the character and experience to fill Goldberg’s position.

“The board found in Bill Veghte an insightful and energetic leader who will leverage SurveyMonkey’s global scale and profitability into a much larger business,” Lurie said. “We believe Bill’s stellar track record in both consumer and enterprise markets makes him the ideal candidate to succeed Dave Goldberg.”

Veghte said in a statement that he hoped to continue Goldberg’s legacy: “I am excited to build upon the strong foundation that Dave and the leadership team have in place.”

Veghte, a 1990 Harvard University graduate, worked at Microsoft on Windows and in other executive roles from 2001 to 2010. He went on to join HP, serving in various management positions, including chief operating officer and executive vice president of HP’s enterprise group. He serves on the boards of Xero, an online accounting company, and software firm VMTurbo.

Veghte’s appointment came a day after SurveyMonkey, a 16-year-old company that makes web-survey technology, announced it would add Sheryl Sandberg, Goldberg’s widow and Facebook’s chief operating officer, to the board of directors. The Palo Alto company also announced on Monday that David Ebersman, the CEO of Lyra Health and former chief financial officer of Facebook, would join the board.

SurveyMonkey launched in 1999 and flourished under Goldberg’s leadership after he joined in 2009. After releasing an iOS app in 2014, its mobile traffic exploded.

The company, which has about 500 employees, was thought to be on track for an initial public offering until in 2013 it raised nearly $800 million in debt equity to sustain the company, making a public-market debut unnecessary. Then, in 2014, SurveyMonkey raised $250 million from investors, pushing its valuation to $2 billion and further delaying an IPO. The financing has helped the company market and sell its technology overseas; it now has 25 million customers, including large tech companies such as Facebook, Samsung and Salesforce.