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Distinguished Lecture | Alumni | ECE Alumni Award Seminar

Engineering is Logical. Life Isn’t

Vikram VermaBoard Member, Advisor and Recovering CEO
1200 EECS BuildingMap

Vikram Verma is the 2022 ECE Alumni Impact Award Winner.

From his years studying engineering to leading several successful companies, Vik has taken both logical and illogical steps in life in order to pave his way for his successful career. In this talk, Vik will talk about the importance and benefits of engineering and leadership to better society, and share how he benefited from his education at U-M and beyond. He will also highlight the importance of emotion, leadership, luck and randomness in life.
Vikram Verma has had a distinguished 30-year executive career with leading technology companies. He has been granted eight patents and honored with various accolades, including being named a Tau Beta Pi Williams Fellow and a “Technology Pioneer” by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.  Verma earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at the Florida Institute of Technology, 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 has attended executive management programs at Harvard Business School, the Haas School of Business at University of California-Berkeley, the Stanford Law School Directors’ College, and the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Verma began his career at Savi Technology, Inc., a leader in radio frequency identification-based tracking and security solutions and a pioneer in the internet of things.  He joined Savi as a Design Engineer, while it was pre-revenue.  Five years later, as Savi’s Chief Operating Officer, he helped negotiate the acquisition of Savi by Texas Instruments. Verma became President and CEO of Savi post acquisition.  During the subsequent merger of Texas Instruments Systems Group with the Raytheon Company, Verma, in partnership with leading venture Capital firms from Silicon Valley and Asia, led the management buyout of Savi.  Seven years later, Savi was acquired by Lockheed Martin for over 35X its buyout price.


After integrating Savi into Lockheed Martin, Verma served as the President of Strategic Venture Development for Lockheed Martin. In that role, he was responsible for monetizing existing Lockheed Martin technologies and programs in new global commercial markets.   After leaving Lockheed Martin, Verma was appointed as the CEO of Silicon Valley based cloud communications company 8×8, Inc. and served in that role until December of 2020. Under his leadership, 8×8 acquired 8 companies, increased its annual recurring revenue from ~$100M to over $500M and added more than $1.5B to its market capitalization.  Verma has served on the board of RAE systems (acquired by Honeywell International), as well as Blackfire (Acquired by ROKU, Inc).  He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Ping Identity, the Board of Directors of Cambium Networks, the Board of Directors of Zingtree, Chairman of the Board of Managers for Genesis Digital, LLC and the Advisory Board of Wiliot.  In addition  he serves on the Board of Trustees of Florida Institute of Technology where he is a member of the Executive Committee and the Presidential Search Committee.  He and his wife, Sandy, reside in Los Altos Hills, CA and Santa Barbara, CA.


Silvia Cardarelli