Silicon Valley Entrepreneur, Investor and Engineer Named Honored Alumnus
From left to right: President Jeffrey D. Armstrong, Honored Alumnus Michael Abbott, Professor Emerita Christina Bailey, and Dean Philip Bailey
Mike Abbott (B.S., Biochemistry, 1994) is this year's honored alumnus for the College of Science & Mathematics. Abbott joined venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) in 2011 and focuses on investments in the firm's digital practice. He helps entrepreneurs in the social, mobile and cloud computing sectors rapidly scale up teams and ventures. Abbott serves as a resource on enterprise infrastructure, cloud computing and big data. He also helps entrepreneurs recruit skilled talent in a hyper-competitive environment.
Abbott is not only an entrepreneur and investor but also a leader in engineering. He led the development of innovative, high-performance applications and services at Twitter, Palm and Microsoft before joining KPCB.
While vice president of engineering at Twitter, Abbott led the team that rebuilt and solidified Twitter's infrastructure and oversaw the growth of the engineering team from 80 to more than 350 engineers in less than 18 months. He and his team scaled Twitter's architecture to support hundreds of millions of daily tweets. Before joining Twitter, Abbott led the software development team at Palm that created HP/Palm's next-generation webOS platform and was the general manager at Microsoft for .NET online services, which became Azure.
Also an expert in big data businesses, Abbott founded Composite Software, a data virtualization software company that was acquired by Cisco, and co-founded Passenger Inc., which helps leading brands connect with their customers.
Abbott has advised and invested in numerous software companies throughout his career, including Cloudera, Hearsay Labs, Jawbone, Saynow, Reverb Technologies, Toytalk and Locu. He is a member of the Board of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, and the PepsiCo Digital Advisory Board. He was also a member of the HealthCare.gov Tech Surge Team and remains an advisor to the U.S. Digital Service effort.