John Pearce

Founding Partner Emeritus

There are founders. There are leaders. There are legends. And then there was John. A business builder through and through, there’s little John hadn’t seen, experienced, overcome, or achieved in his 25 years of successfully leading fast-growing technology companies as CFO and CEO. From his earliest days as a child growing up in Australia, business had always been central to John’s life. The son of a businessperson, the lessons John absorbed at the kitchen table about building and running a company were formative.

John was instrumental in the early revenue stage of Actifio, a startup building a new category with a revolutionary way to manage data backup by helping to refine the pricing, packaging, and business model for both enterprise license and SaaS delivery. Prior to that, he led Demandware (now a Salesforce company) as President and CEO through stages of high growth. He joined Demandware from AppIQ (acquired by Hewlett-Packard), where he was CFO. John also co-founded SilverStream Software and held roles of CFO, Vice President of International Operations, and Senior Vice President of WorldWide Sales. Prior to SilverStream, he co-founded Watermark Software and served as its CFO and Vice President of International Business until the company was acquired by FileNet Corporation.

Throughout it all, John remained humble. So humble, in fact, that to make up for the achievements he refused to brag about, colleagues took to making up their own for him (Did you know that John Pearce could slam a revolving door? Or that he counted to infinity – twice?). Always one to credit the team first and lend his support as mentor and coach, John set the tone of Underscore VC’s culture not just by what he had achieved, but by being who he was.

John passed away unexpectedly in November of 2023. We miss him every day and speak of his many lessons and lasting impact often.

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