John W. Thompson, one of the few African-American chief executive officers in technology, has been tapped to succeed Bill Gates as chairman of Microsoft.
The former CEO of Symantec, Thompson is the CEO of Virtual Instruments, a San Jose-based software company. He will be the second chairman of Microsoft.
Thompson will be chair of the board that oversees Microsoft's top executives, including the new CEO, Satya Nadella, a longtime company insider. Thompson headed the search for Microsoft's new CEO.
Here is a sketch of Thompson:
Born: Fort Dix, N.J.
Education: Bachelor's degree in business, Florida A&M University; Master's in management, MIT's Sloan School of Management
Career: Currently CEO of Virtual Instruments. Former CEO of Symantec (1999-2009); worked for 28 years at IBM.
Public service: Numerous government boards and commissions, including the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, the National Infrastructure Advisory Committee, and the Silicon Valley Blue Ribbon Task Force on Aviation Security and Technology. Also served on the national board of Teach for America.
Family: Married; two adult children