Instructure CEO Dan Goldsmith Resigns and New Approach for Bravo Acquisition

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8 replies
  1. Ian Linkletter
    Ian Linkletter says:

    Wow!

    One year ago: Instructure: Plans to expand beyond Canvas LMS into machine learning and AI (https://eliterate.us/instructure-plans-to-expand-beyond-canvas-lms-into-machine-learning-and-ai/)

    Three months ago: Instructure Considering Sale Options (https://philonedtech.com/instructure-considering-sale-options/)

    What a whirlwind, I haven’t seen anything like this since Blackboard and D2L The squid diagram (https://philonedtech.com/state-of-higher-ed-lms-market-for-us-and-canada-year-end-2019-edition/) ought to be interesting if Instructure starts to lose customers, and ESPECIALLY so if Thoma Bravo weighs an acquisition of Blackboard too (Michael Feldstein tempted fate here: https://eliterate.us/instructures-proposed-acquisition-is-a-bad-risk-for-everyone/).

  2. InstructureGuy
    InstructureGuy says:

    Phil – Long time reader, first time contributor. Props on your coverage and humor over the years. I am a former Instructure employee and I cannot begin to tell you the insanity over the past months. I was part of the layoffs and the stuff on the internet does not even cover half of what is going on behind the scenes. It is scary and Josh Coates showing back up all of a sudden is really bad for the company. Especially now that he is Thoma Barfo’s new wonder twin with their “advisor” guy. I think people are going to start realizing that Dan Goldsmith is not the corporate fool people think he is. From my point of view, even though Dan’s vibe is different than mine, it was nice to finally have an adult leading the company. Here is a good example. Look at Josh’s email to employees on tuesday, link here: https://sec.report/Document/0001193125-20-040651/ .

    Now look at the email Dan sent to employees that same day as a goodbye. Tell me who you want to work for…..

    Team,

    It will be announced this morning that I am leaving Instructure.

    That probably leaves you with many questions and there are a number or things I could talk about here. Why leave? What’s next? What’s been accomplished? What is left to accomplish? Who’s going to throw out the Blue Moon that “may” have been left in the fridge? There are so many things I could talk about and so many things I have learned over the last two years, but the thing I want to talk about most is connecting.

    Joining a company as the second CEO is hard. This transition in leadership is an inflection point that first creates a company “history.” It marks the point at which employees and customers start to reference “the good old days.” It is when people begin to worry that “the culture is going to change.” As often happens with the second leader, second product, second…, I heard things that were implicit comparators. “Is Dan too corporate? Open? Fun?” This change made it difficult for you to know me.

    However, I saw in Instructure and in each of you, deep passion and tremendous potential. There is something intangible at Instructure; an ethos that is different than any company I’ve worked for or with in the past. It is not about Instructure Values; which are sometimes reflexively invoked as mantra in the halls and on Slack channels. No, it is not just the values, nor the Nerf Guns, nor the scooters strewn on each floor. Instead, the ethos of Instructure is encapsulated in the moments of connection, in your limitless ability to care for others, and in the unwavering commitment to your customers. That is what makes this place special. I call this a family room culture. A place that, despite the fact that there are sometimes disagreements, you feel loved and welcomed.

    It took many of these moments with many of you over the past two years to feel like part of the Instructure family. Over time, I got to know you, and you got to know me; what I stand for, what I believe in, what I care about, and how I can help. We made connections. We cared. We helped customers, made plans, experienced amazing wins and devastating losses, shored up our foundations and planted the seeds for an amazing future. We also made a difference in the lives of students, educators, and employees around the world. I am incredibly proud of the difference we made. And we did this by connecting with one another, collaborating together and supporting each other as a unified team. Personally, I am blessed with the connections I’ve made with each of you, and I am a better person because of all of you.

    While my Instructure story ends here, I am proud of the hard work we have put in together. By reorienting the business to focus on growth, innovation, and customer success, we’ve created the potential and the pathway for achieving a bright future and I wish you only the best, as you continue on that journey.

    Thank you and good luck.

    Dan Goldsmith
    CEO

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