Feb 6, 2014



Rattlers Stand Up!

Florida A&M University (FAMU) alumnus John W. Thompson was appointed the independent chairman of computer software giant Microsoft Corp., replacing company founder Bill Gates.

Thompson, a 1971 graduate of the School of Business and Industry (SBI), first joined Microsoft's board of directors in February 2012, serving as a lead independent director, a role he will continue in tandem with the appointment.

Thompson was inducted into the FAMU SBI Hall of Fame in 2011.

In addition to chairman of the Microsoft board, Thompson is the chief executive officer of privately held Virtual Instruments. He is the former chairman and CEO of Symantec where he served for 10 years. Previously, he held a number of leadership positions at IBM, including sales, marketing, software development and general manager of IBM Americas.

Thompson received his bachelor's degree in business administration from FAMU. He earned a master's degree in management from the Sloan Fellows program of the MIT Sloan School of Management.

According to Microsoft, Gates will assume a new role on the Board as founder and technology advisor. Thompson was named chairman of the Board and Satya Nadella was named chief executive officer, taking over for Steve Ballmer.