SurveyMonkey board chairman Zander Lurie has been serving as interim CEO since former CEO, Dave Goldberg died suddenly in May while on vacation in Mexico.
In fact, Veghte was a close friend of Goldberg’s and says this transition has been bittersweet for him. He said when he met with the company yesterday for the first time as CEO, he talked about taking over for a man he called a friend, a mentor, an amazing person and an amazing leader.
“I share in their loss. Dave was an amazing person and the reality is I’m not Dave and I can’t be Dave to them, but what I can be is a supporter of each and everyone at SurveyMonkey in supporting and enabling them in what they are already doing,” he said.
Veghte brings with him more than 25 years of corporate experience, working at Microsoft on Office, Windows and Windows Server for over 20 years. For the last several years, he worked at HP mostly on enterprise.
Now, he’ll lead this cloud-based survey company. It seems a departure, given his former experience in larger-company settings, but Veghte doesn’t see it that way.
“What I have loved doing my entire career is building great businesses and building great teams,” he said. When he joined Microsoft 25 years ago it was only moderately bigger — a couple of hundred million in revenue — than SurveyMonkey is today.
Back in January, Goldberg had actually talked to Veghte about joining the board. Specifically they had discussed him helping the company as it scales. As he takes over as CEO, he sees that mission as his biggest task moving forward.
He hopes to take the company from popular online survey tool to an insights platform, providing more creative ways to use all of that data generated by these surveys. As part of that, he wants to transition the company from self-serve sales to a hybrid self-serve and sales team model.
Veghte says the good news is the company is on sound footing. His job is to take the company to the next level and that’s what he’s going to try to do.
SurveyMonkey launched way back in 1999, and has raised an astonishing $1.2 billion across five rounds, according to Crunchbase. The most recent investment was a $250 million round at the end of last year.