Class of ‘87 Alum Honored
at Homecoming Gala Oct. 13
MELBOURNE, FLA. —Vik Verma, who earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at Florida Tech in 1987 on his way to becoming a successful Silicon Valley entrepreneur and executive, received the Jerome P. Keuper Distinguished Alumni Award at the university’s 60th Anniversary Homecoming Gala Oct. 13.
Named after the university’s founder, the Jerome P. Keuper Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes an alumnus whose career accomplishments honor the university’s legacy of excellence. It celebrates those Florida Tech graduates who have gained their unique distinction through successes in their professions, service to the university and contribution to their communities.
Currently chief executive officer of Silicon Valley-based 8×8 Inc., the world’s first communications cloud provider and one of the most successful unified communications companies anywhere, Verma has had a distinguished, nearly 30-year career with leading technology companies.
He has been granted eight patents and honored with various accolades, including being named one of 40 “Technology Pioneers” in 2003 by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Verma was a member of the Florida Tech Board of Trustees from 2002 to 2007 and was named to the board for a second time in 2015.
Other Florida Tech highlights and honors for Verma include being a recipient of the Faculty Honors Award (Co-Valedictorian) Class of 1987, the 1987 Tau Beta Pi Williams Fellowship, the 1999 Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award for the College of Engineering, and being twice selected as a commencement speaker, in 2002 and at this spring’s ceremony in May.
“Vik is a true tech visionary who embodies the relentless passion, high standards and global influence displayed by our greatest alumni,” said Florida Tech President Dwayne McCay. “I am honored that he is a graduate, a board member and, most importantly, my friend, and we look forward to recognizing him with our highest alumni honor.”
In addition to his degree from Florida Tech, Verma earned an M.S.E. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan, and the graduate degree of Engineer in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. He later attended the executive management program for CEOs at Harvard Business School, the AEA Executive Institute at Stanford University, the Financial Management Program at the Haas School of Business at University of California-Berkeley, the Stanford Law School Directors’ College, and the Audit Committee and Compensation Committee programs at Harvard Business School.
Prior to joining 8×8, which on June 19 began being listed on the New York Stock Exchange after a ceremonial bell-ringing Verma led, he was president of strategic venture development for Lockheed Martin from 2008 to 2013. In that role, he was responsible for monetizing existing Lockheed Martin technologies and programs in new global commercial markets. From 2006-2008, Verma was president of the IS&GS Savi Group, a Lockheed Martin technology and information services division. Previously, he was chairman and CEO of Savi Technology, Inc., a pioneer in cloud-based managed service offerings and a leader in radio frequency identification-based tracking and security solutions, producing the first commercial application of the Internet of Things. Savi was acquired by Lockheed Martin in 2006.
Verma began his career at Savi in 1990 as a design engineer, joining the company while it was an early-stage startup. By 1994, he had been promoted to Chief Operating Officer, and in 1995, helped negotiate the acquisition of Savi by Texas Instruments, which subsequently sold the business to Raytheon Co. Verma became President and CEO of Savi in 1997. In partnership with venture capitalists from Silicon Valley and Asia, he led the management buyout of Savi from Raytheon in 1999.
Verma joins previous Jerome P. Keuper Distinguished Alumni Award winners, including business executive Jim Thomas, Major League Baseball pitcher Tim Wakefield, astronaut Sunita Williams, Ann Dunwoody, the Army’s first female four-star general, retired Ford Motor Co. executive Robert Phebus Jr., attorney Dale Dettmer and Carmax Chairman Thomas Folliard.