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John W. Thompson

John W. Thompson

Lead Independent Director

John W. Thompson joined the Microsoft board in February 2012, and is the lead independent director.

Thompson brings over 40 years of experience in the technology industry. Most recently, he served as chief executive officer and director of Virtual Instruments. Before this, he was the chairman and chief executive officer of Symantec for 10 years, during which time he helped transform the company into a leader in security, storage and systems management solutions. Thompson also held several leadership positions during his 28 years at IBM in the areas of sales, marketing and software development, and he also served as general manager of IBM Americas. In 2018, he became a partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Thompson serves on the board of directors for Illumina. He is an active investor and advisor in early-stage technology companies in the Silicon Valley.

Thompson holds 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.

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