Samuel Wilson Set to Lead 8x8 into the Future

By Erik Linask May 31, 2023

8x8 (News - Alert), the integrated cloud communications platform provider featuring its XCaaS (eXperience Communications as a Service) platform, has announced the appointment of Samuel Wilson as its new CEO and member of the Company’s Board of Directors.  The transition took effect this past Friday, May 26, 2023.

The announcement marks another milestone in the company's journey, which started with its Packet8 VoIP service back in 2002.  Its current XCaaS service is a far cry from that initial VoIP offering and includes a fully integrated cloud-based business communications suite, including UCaaS, CCaaS, and AI features to maximize its customers’ communications capabilities.

Wilson steps into the role after serving as interim CEO since November 2022 and is a logical choice for 8x8, given Wilson’s experience and history with 8x8.  His 25 years of executive experience in the technology sector, including extensive expertise in cloud-based communications, collaboration platforms, and enterprise software solutions, will serve him well as he leads 8x8 in an rapidly evolving communications industry.

Wilson previously served as 8x8’s CFO, a role in which he helped return the company to non-GAAP profitability.  Prior to joining 8x8 in 2017, he held positions at a number of asset management and investment firms.  His financial skillset will be key to managing the company's financial health and sustainable growth, and his knowledge of the company's growth and expense drivers combined with technology expertise make him the logical choice for CEO.

His familiarity with 8x8 will no doubt also be an asset.  Having been with the company for nearly six years in multiple leadership roles, including CFO, Chief Customer Officer, and interim CEO, he has gained a broad perspective and understanding of 8x8's operations, culture, and strategic initiatives.

His previous roles also position him well to drive the messaging in 8x8’s latest brand campaign, featuring the slogan, “Communications for the Customer Obsessed.”  That focus on customer success has been consistent through Wilson’s tenure at 8x8, from his roles as SVP of SMB and Chief Customer Officer, to late 2022 when he became interim CEO.

At that time, six months ago, he wrote:  “I joined 8x8 inspired by the mission of empowering organizations to connect every employee, delight every customer, and become more agile through a unified cloud platform.  That mission has been my north star and the driving force behind our ongoing work to transform our operations, innovate on our unified cloud communications platform, and pivot towards profitability.”

He certainly talks the talk and, if his past successes are an indicator of things to come, 8x8 is in good hands.

In reality, Wilson’s appointment follows the departure of Vik Verma (though he wasn’t the most recent CEO), who served in role for more than seven years.  Verma’s duties were initially taken over by David Sipes, former RingCentral (News - Alert) COO.  While the decision to bring in a new CEO who had been with a competitor for 12 years may have been seen by many as a strategic move to drive change in an increasingly competitive landscape, it didn’t work out as well as anticipated.

Sipes was abruptly “terminated” in November and, while the company didn’t acknowledge it, it stands to reason the company’s stock performance was a major factor (its stock dropped by about 85% while Sipes was CEO).

That’s when Wilson was named interim CEO and, by all counts, he has performed well – well enough, certainly, to be named to the role formally.

“Sam’s performance during his tenure as interim CEO has been outstanding and made him the clear choice for CEO,” said Jaswinder Pal Singh, Chairman of the Board.  “He has demonstrated remarkable leadership skills, a deep understanding of the industry, and a clear vision for the future of 8x8.  He has a deep commitment to delivering shareholder value and we have full confidence that he is the right person to lead the company into its next phase of growth and success.”

The cloud communications space is more competitive than ever.  At the same time, the market has never presented more of an opportunity.  The combination of a pandemic-driven mass cloud migration, the emergence of AI, and a renewed focus on both customer and employee experiences collectively demand tightly integrates, feature-rich next-gen communications and collaboration services. 

8x8's XCaaS platform is well-suited to meet those needs.  It’s history of innovation in the space gives it a more-than-solid base on which to continue to build and support its users.  Now, with a CEO with a worthy resume, 8x8 seems well-positioned to for success in meeting evolving businesses in the digital age and driving its own growth.

Edited by Erik Linask
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