NCA Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Robert J. Pera
CEO, founder and chairman
As a child in the Bay Area, Robert J. Pera was inspired by the entrepreneurs and companies that grew the Silicon Valley to what it is today. From an early age, Pera exhibited a keen interest in emerging technologies, and before completing high school was running his own computer consulting company.
Years later, in 2003, Pera’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to quit his job at Apple, liquidate his equity and max out his credit cards to work on his own ideas. He rented a small office where he worked and lived, creating Ubiquiti Networks from the ground up.
As CEO and chairman, Pera created the multinational company dedicated to building network communication platforms for everyone, everywhere. His vision is to serve the under-networked by making innovative technology available at disruptive price points.
Within the first year of operations, Pera had his designs that were used in Ubiquiti’s products copied. To avoid further intellectual property theft, he integrated both hardware and software across a single proprietary platform. However, the company still combats counterfeit schemes to this day.
In October 2011, Ubiquiti went public, and the company lives true to Pera’s original vision, with more than 10 million devices currently deployed in more than 180 countries.
Pera personally recruits and interviews the engineers at Ubiquiti, helping them maximize their potential by fostering an environment of independence and freedom of thought. He also still spends time in the lab.
Ubiquiti has no direct sales force, relying on its customers to spread the word and distributors and resellers across the globe. This lowers costs and allows the company to focus on the innovative design process and true customer needs.
Pera believes Ubiquiti is just getting started diversifying into other technologies, including pursuits into microwave backhaul, machine-to-machine networking, video surveillance, and advanced routing and switching.
Pera also is the majority owner of the Memphis Grizzlies NBA team.
How to reach: Ubiquiti Networks, www.ubnt.com