On February 4, Microsoft announced that Satya Nadella, an Indian from India, was going to take over as the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Everybody talked about how Indians were taking over major corporations around the world, including, not only Microsoft but also PepsiCo, MasterCard, Diageo and Adobe. What was not mentioned was that John W. Thompson was going to be the second Chairman of Microsoft after its founder Bill Gates steps aside as Chairman to be the Technology Adviser at Microsoft.
The new role for Thompson will include analysts and industry experts developing advanced innovations.
“Thompson is very well and deeply respected guy and his experience, plus his connections with the tech ecosystem in the valley, and elsewhere, will be invaluable for Satya,” said John Connors, managing partner at Ignition Ventures according to Mercury News.
Thompson grew up in South Florida with his working class parents who were employed as a teacher and a postal worker. During his school years, he played the clarinet and saxophone securing a band scholarship for himself to a Missouri College.
Thompson began his promising career in 1971 at IBM; throughout his time at IBM he worked as a charming salesman, and proved to be gifted by becoming the head of sales and service for the Americas. He remained at IBM for 28 years before he moved on to higher heights in his career.
Experience captivated his future allowing him to become the CEO of Symantec in 1999. Thompson masterminded an increase in the company’s revenue and work force, according to Mercury News. He took the company’s revenue from $632 million to 6.2 billion; and he created jobs by expanding the workforce from 2,300 employees to more than 17,500.
Thompson experienced some bumps along the road at Symantec before he retired. He moved on to become the CEO of Virtual Instruments, where he has been instrumental in their growth. He has invested in early stage tech companies, given business advice to other executives, and provided impressive results over his tenure in the corporate world.