What happened

Shares of e-signature software company DocuSign (DOCU 0.53%) dropped like a rock on Friday after the company announced financial results for the fourth quarter of 2023, gave guidance for its fiscal 2024, and announced a change to its leadership. As of 11:45 a.m. ET, DocuSign stock was down 19%.

So what

During the third quarter of fiscal 2023, DocuSign's management gave guidance for multiple items. It met or exceeded guidance on all counts.

Specifically, Q4 revenue of almost $660 million was far ahead of its guidance of $637 million to $641 million. Moreover, billings of $739 million were up 10% year over year and above management's guidance of $705 million to $715 million.

But I believe DocuSign stock is down today also because the market doesn't like what it sees ahead.

Now what

In fiscal 2024, DocuSign's management expects to generate revenue of $2,695 million to $2,707 million. That's roughly 7% to 8% year-over-year growth and a significant slowdown from its 19% growth in fiscal 2023.

Moreover, billings growth for tech companies can signal a slowdown like this. As mentioned, Q4 billings for DocuSign were only up 10% year over year while revenue grew 14%, which strongly suggests that the slowdown is real and management's guidance is directionally correct.

Finally, DocuSign CFO Cynthia Gaylor plans to leave the company this year. The press release pointed out that the change "is not a result of any disagreement regarding the company's financial statements or disclosures." However, this continues major shakeups in the executive team this year -- something that can unsettle investors. For context, former CEO Dan Springer resigned in June, and new CEO Allan Thygesen took over in September.

With slow growth and questions at leadership, it seems DocuSign is failing to inspire investors right now. It's still growing and relatively outperforming expectations. But the market simply isn't seeing enough to believe it can beat the market from here.