Former Symantec CEO Joins Microsoft

Dennis Faas's picture

The former chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Symantec Corp., known for antivirus software like Norton 360, has been appointed to Microsoft's board of directors. The addition increases the company's number of board members to ten.

As Symantec CEO, John Thompson helped transform that company from a middle-of-the-road antivirus firm to an industry leader.

When he became chief executive in 1999, the company's annual revenue was $632 million. By 2009, the year he stepped down as CEO, the firm's annual revenue was an impressive $6.2 billion. (Source:

Thompson Brings Loads of Management Experience to Microsoft

After he resigned from the CEO spot, Thompson continued to work with Symantec as its chairman.

However, most of his attention in the last few years has been focused on his work as CEO of Virtual Instruments, a San Jose, California-based application deployment testing firm. He also serves as a current board member for United Parcel Service (UPS).

Prior to his tenure at Symantec, Thompson worked for 29 years at IBM in a number of leadership roles within the company's sales, marketing and software development divisions. He also spent some time as general manager of IBM Americas.

Thompson has also served on a variety of government boards and commissions, most notably the Silicon Valley Blue Ribbon Task Force on Aviation Security and Technology.

Gates, Ballmer Pleased with Pickup

Given Thompson's enormous management experience in the tech industry, it's no surprise that other Microsoft board members are happy to have him aboard.

"John has extraordinary technology and business expertise, and we are delighted that he is joining Microsoft's board of directors," said Microsoft chairman, Bill Gates. (Source:

Thompson also appears to be pleased with his new responsibilities, saying: "I am honored to join the Microsoft board and work with this exceptional team.

"Microsoft has been a leader across the entire information technology landscape for decades," Thompson stated, "and I look forward to sharing my experiences and contributing to the future direction and growth of this global leader." (Source:

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