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John W. Thompson

Thompson speaking in 2009
Born April 24, 1949 (1949-04-24) (age 60)
Fort Dix, New Jersey
Alma mater Bachelor of Business Administration, Florida A&M
Occupation Chairman of the Board for Symantec Corporation

John W. Thompson (born April 24, 1949) is a former vice-president at IBM and the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Symantec Corporation. He is presently the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Symantec Corporation. During his tenure as CEO of Symantec, he was the only African American leading a major technology company.[1]


Personal life

Born in Fort Dix, New Jersey, Thompson attended John F. Kennedy High School in Riviera Beach, Florida (now Suncoast Community High School). He received a Bachelor of Business Administration from Florida A&M in 1971 and a Master's degree in Management (M.B.A.) from the Sloan Fellows program of the MIT Sloan School of Management in 1983.

Professional life

Before moving on to become Symantec's CEO in 1999, Thompson's 28-year career with IBM Corporation included senior executive positions in sales, marketing and software development, and lastly as general manager of IBM Americas as well as membership in the company’s Worldwide Management Council.

In September 2002, Thompson was appointed to the National Infrastructure Advisory Committee (NIAC) which makes recommendations regarding the security of the critical infrastructure of the United States.

Thompson purchased a 20 percent share of the Golden State Warriors NBA team in 2005 along with three other Silicon Valley businessmen under the umbrella of the Bay Area Basketball Partners, L.L.C.

In April 2006, Forbes published a list of the most highly compensated CEOs. Thompson was ranked #8 with a total compensation of $71.84 million (USD).[2]

Thompson retired from his CEO post on April 4, 2009, turning the company's reins over to long-time Symantec executive Enrique Salem. Thompson has retained his position as Symantec's board chairman.


Board memberships

Commerce secretary post

In January 2009, news sources reported that Barack Obama was considering Thompson to fill the Commerce secretary post in the Obama administration.[3][4][5] Thompson was a strong supporter of Barack Obama's campaign during the 2008 election cycle.[6] Ultimately, Senator Judd Gregg was chosen for the post[7] but withdrew his name on Thursday, February 12. Thompson again remained a potential candidate until the successful appointment of Gary Locke.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi appointed Thompson to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission in 2009.


External links


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