John Thompson was appointed as the Chairman of Microsoft on 5 February 2014 by the Board of Directors at a meeting held in Washington, US. He succeeded Bill Gates who assumed the role of Technology Advisor to the CEO of Microsoft.
John Thompson is the first Afro-American to head the Microsoft and the second Chairman of the Microsoft after Bill Gates. He joined the Board of Microsoft as independent director in February 2012.
With the inclusion of Thompson the Board of Directors of Microsoft will now have 10 members including Nadella. Out of 10 board members, seven are independent directors. Three of the seven have been on the board for more than eight years.
At present, Thompson is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of privately held Virtual Instruments. The products are designed to ensure the performance and availability of applications deployed in virtualised and private cloud computing environments.