Leadership shuffle continues at Thoma Bravo’s Apttus as PE firm grapples with human resources crisis

Private Equity firm Thoma Bravo continues to overhaul the management team at Apttus, the scandal-ridden software company it acquired in October after its founding CEO stepped down following an allegation that he sexually assaulted an employee during a company trip to Mexico.

Chief Strategy Officer Jeff Santelices is the latest executive to leave Apttus.

The most recent departure is Chief Strategy Officer Jeff Santelices, who left his role at the company this week, according to sources familiar with Apttus.

Santelices, who is based in Colorado, joined Apttus in 2015 after a career spent in sales roles at IBM and various tech startups including Webroot and TrackVia.

It is unclear whether Santelices left on his own or was pushed out of Apttus. His departure comes weeks after Raj Verma, chief operating officer at Apttus, changed roles to chief revenue officer.

Although Apttus’ senior leadership team has faced withering criticism from insiders who point to the company’s toxic and “dishonest” corporate culture, Santelices stood out for being well-liked among employees. Multiple former employees described him as one of the most “ethical” and “well-respected” senior leaders at the company.

Santelices did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Thoma Bravo declined to comment.

Thoma Bravo also brought in several of its own executives in recent weeks, including Chief People Officer Colleen Carr and Chief Legal Officer Omer Rafatullah.

CEO David Murphy joined Apttus in October when the acquisition closed. He took over a role left vacant in July when founding CEO Kirk Krappe left the company.

Neehar Giri and Kent Perkocha, who cofounded Apttus along with Krappe and held c-level positions throughout their time at the company, are both listed just as “co-founders” on the Apttus website.

Human resources crisis continues at Apttus

The leadership shakeup comes as Thoma Bravo grapples with a human resources crisis at Apttus, where allegations ranging from sexual assault to a hostile work environment have cost the company millions of dollars in settlement fees with departing employees.

Apttus faces multiple on-going legal complaints, sources said, related to allegations of inappropriate behavior from leadership at the company.

In November, Murphy asked employees to take an anonymous survey which asked about their past interactions with human resources.

It’s unclear whether any of the title or position changes are related to human resources concerns.

Departing CSO had a $4.7 million exit package

Santelices was one of four executives at the company with a parachute package valued over $1 million, according to a company document previously reported by Business Insider.

The exit packages caused a stir at the company after a equity holders — which included most current and former employees — were asked to vote to approve of the packages ahead of Apttus’s sale to Thoma Bravo.

A large portion of the payments are contingent on shareholder approval. It is unclear whether shareholders approved of the payments.

The document outlines payments that “have, will, or may be paid,” the total of which may ultimately prove to be overstated, according to the documents. The parachute provisions include an array of potential payments, including potential severance packages and unvested equity awards.

Business Insider reported last month that employees were particularly concerned with the $26.5 million parachute for Verma, whose behavior, sources said, is the subject of several ongoing legal complaints.

Santelices’ exit package was valued at $4.7 million total. Chief Marketing Officer Ben Allen has a $1.3 million package, and Chief Information Officer Praniti Lakhwara has a $1.7 million package. Both Allen and Lakhwara remain at the company.

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