Microsoft Names John Thompson As Its First Black Chairman Of Board

February 10, 2014  |  

Microsoft recently named a new CEO, Satya Nadella, and now comes word they have just named their first African-American chairman of the board. Seasoned Silicon Valley executive John Thompson will succeed Bill Gates as the new chairman of the board of Microsoft, reports BET.

Thompson will be the second chairman in the company’s history. Thompson, a former chief executive of Symantec, is chief executive of software company Virtual Instruments.

This move by Microsoft comes during a time the industry has been encouraged to include more African Americans on their boards. Thompson has actually been a member of Microsoft’s board of directors for two years.

Microsoft is also hoping the new changes will increase sales which have been on the decline.

“As part of my new role,” Thompson said in a video on the company’s website, “one of my key contributions, I hope, will be to engage with shareholders and keep focused on how together we can bring great innovation to the market and drive strong, long-term shareholder value.”

Raised in South Florida by a teacher and a postal worker, Thompson earned a band scholarship for college in Missouri.  But he went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Florida A&M University and a master’s degree in 1983 from the Sloan Fellows program of the MIT Sloan School of Management.

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