John W. Thompson

W. Thompson

Global Advisory Board Member, Motive Partners

Chairman, Microsoft


John Thompson is based in Silicon Valley, California and joined the Microsoft Board in 2012, becoming independent chairman of Microsoft in 2014.

John brings over 40 years of experience in the technology industry. Most recently, he served as Chief Executive Officer of Virtual Instruments, a privately held company focused on infrastructure performance management.  Prior to this, John was the 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. John 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.

Since 2009, John has been an active investor in early-stage technology companies in the Silicon Valley. He currently serves as either an advisor or board member with Illumina, ReviverMX and Illumio.  Previously, he served on the boards of NIPSCO (Northern Indiana Public Service Company), Fortune Brands, Liquid Robotics, Seagate Technologies, and United Parcel Service (UPS). 

In addition to his services in the technology industry, he is also a member of the board of trustees for the Wetland America Trust. He has served on the national board of Teach for America and on several government commissions that include the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, the National Infrastructure Advisory Committee, and the Silicon Valley Blue Ribbon Task Force on Aviation Security and Technology.

John 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.

Motive Partners