John W. Thompson is the Chairman of the Board of Microsoft and he brings over 40 years of experience in the technology industry including being the former chief executive officer at Symantec and Virtual Instruments. During his 10-year tenure as CEO of Symantec, he helped transform the company into a leader in security, storage and systems management solutions. Prior to Symantec, Thompson held a number of leadership positions at IBM, including sales, marketing, software development and general manager of IBM Americas.
Since 2009, Thompson has been an active investor in early-stage technology companies in Silicon Valley. He currently serves as an advisor or board member with PernixData, Liquid Robotics, ReviverMX and Illumio. His past corporate board experiences include serving on the boards of Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO), Fortune Brands, Seagate Technologies, and United Parcel Service (UPS).
He currently serves on the board of Trustees for the Wetland America Trust and formerly served on the national board of Teach for America, an organization dedicated to eliminating educational inequities for all children. He has also served on a number of government commissions, including the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, the National Infrastructure Advisory Committee, and the Silicon Valley Blue Ribbon Task Force on Aviation Security and Technology.
Thompson has been recognized by a number of industry and business associations for his leadership and public service. In 2012, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group recognized him with the Spirit of Silicon Valley Lifetime Achievement award, the Silicon Valley Education Foundation named him Pioneer Business Leader in 2010 and in 2008 Junior Achievement recognized him as a Business Hall of Fame Laureate. Thompson was also awarded the David Packard Medal of Achievement from TechAmerica Foundation for his contributions to the high-tech industry.
Thompson received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Florida A&M University, and a master’s degree in Management Science from MIT’s Sloan School of Management. In 2008, he received an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business, and in 2014 he received an honorary doctorate degree from Florida A&M University.