Well-known Va. IT contractor gets new name

Peraton CEO Stu Shea, seen here, said it takes a lot of work to come up with a new name for a corporation. (Courtesy David Wiegold)

WASHINGTON — Three months after Veritas Capital acquired the Herndon, Virginia-based government IT services business of Harris Corp. for $690 million, the company finally has an official name.

It is Peraton.

Peraton, which had been called MHVC Acquisition Corporation since the sale closed, says the name is a construct of the prefix “per,” which means thoroughly and the word “imperative,” reflecting the importance of its customers’ missions.

If you think coming up with a new corporate name is easy, think again. It can be a very long and challenging process.

“You have to come up with a name that you can own from a patent and trademark standpoint, you have to own the domain name server, you have to be able to get your Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn social media sites,” said Peraton CEO Stu Shea.

“It has to be something that can’t offend somebody in a foreign language and it can’t be something someone can lay claim to from a rights standpoint somewhere else in the world, so it is a rather laborious process,” he said.

This is Shea’s second try at coming up with a corporate name. He was chief operating officer at McLean-based Science Applications International Corp. when that company split in two, creating the word Leidos, for Leidos Holdings Inc., where he served as president and COO.

The process of coming up with a corporate name must also include coming up with one that means something, Shea said.

“Stitching together multiple words. Typically, people use Greek, Latin, etc., and find all the permutations and combinations of those, and then finding something that has some implication toward what the company stands for,” he said.

“You don’t want to sound like a pharmaceutical company if you’re developing mission critical IT systems for the U.S. government.”

Peraton, whose government customers include the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Air Force, has about 3,500 employees, with 1,300 in the Washington area, including at its Worldgate headquarters in Herndon.



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