John was named CEO of Virtual Instruments in April of 2010. He has been a member of the Virtual Instruments Board of Directors since 2009. John brings proven leadership, tremendous industry experience and deep understanding of the needs of enterprise customers to Virtual Instruments.

Prior to joining Virtual Instruments, John was chairman of the board and CEO of Symantec Corporation, the leader in internet security, from April 1999 to April 2009. He continued to serve as chairman of the board until October 2011. John also served in a number of senior leadership roles at IBM Corporation, including general manager of IBM Americas, prior to assuming the CEO role at Symantec. During his 10-year tenure as CEO of Symantec, Thompson transformed the company into a leader in security, storage and systems management solutions, delivering world class products to a global customer base, from individual consumers to many of the world’s largest enterprises. He helped grow revenues from $600M to over $6B in ten years.

Beyond his role at Symantec, Thompson has served on the National Infrastructure Advisory Committee (NIAC), making recommendations regarding the security of nation’s critical infrastructure, and the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission to investigate the cause of the 2008 financial collapse and to make recommendations to Congress on steps to avoid or mitigate the impact of a reoccurrence. He is an active investor in early-stage companies and currently serves on the board of directors of Liquid Robotics, the world’s first wave-powered autonomous platform, and DOMO, an emerging platform for business intelligence. John also serves on the board of UPS, the global leader in logistics, and Microsoft, the world's largest software company.

John W. Thompson completed his undergraduate studies at Florida A&M and holds a Master’s degree in Management from MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

This is the webblog of John W. Thompson.  The opinions expressed are those of John W. Thompson and may not represent those of Computerworld.

Latest Posts by John

In a climate of slow global economic growth, the opportunity presents itself for new and emerging industries to gain prominence in place of failing institutions. In the case of the recent worldwide economic slowdown, IT has emerged as a powerful driver of growth in nearly every developed country.

November 18, 2013 6:00 AM EST

Silos. Stovepipes. Ping Pong.  Finger pointing.  We’ve all heard these terms when people talk about IT. The silos that plague IT organizations and the constant finger pointing back and forth when issues arise are preventing IT from moving at the speed of business. We need to find a way to bridge the gap between the various functions to ensure that IT keeps up with the business’ needs

October 28, 2013 6:00 AM EDT

Is the United States in the midst of, or on the brink of, a manufacturing renaissance? Will the rebirth of the manufacturing sector help rebuild our country’s middle class? It may be too early to accurately answer these questions, but one thing is clear. A thriving manufacturing sector and growing middle class are critical to our innovation and economic success.  


September 30, 2013 6:00 AM EDT

Deploying TAPs in the optical networks of the modern data center is a topic of heated debate. TAPs have been common in the TCP/IP world for more than a decade, where they are deployed to provide network access to packet brokers, intrusion detection and security solutions, and performance management solutions. Although their use is recognized as a best practice by industry leaders and analysts alike, the full understanding of the benefits that TAPs enable has not yet reached the same level of maturity it has in the broader networking world.

September 04, 2013 7:46 AM EDT
Berkeley Lab

Thoughtful and strategic data center consolidation can enable better agility, improve asset utilization levels and drive significant cost savings.

August 15, 2013 6:00 AM EDT

The key components of IT today are similar to the makings of a good movie. IT is dynamic and has many layers. All of these layers, or domains, need to work together seamlessly to deliver a good experience to the end-user. The same holds true for a good movie -- it needs to have a solid plot, a strong director to bring the plot to life, a compelling cast to give the characters depth, and a certain level of excitement to draw the viewer in and hold their attention. So, how does this movie analogy play out in IT?

August 08, 2013 1:40 PM EDT

Software-defined solutions certainly hold a lot of promise -- an automated, dynamic infrastructure, business-aligned SLAs, simpler operations and lower costs. But, technology shifts like this don't come without risks or unintended consequences that we -- as an industry and individual companies -- will need to manage.

August 01, 2013 6:00 AM EDT

As a CEO, people often ask me how I sleep at night knowing that, especially in the IT industry, the competitive landscape can shift almost instantaneously. I tell them the truth: I sleep like a baby. I sleep for two hours and get up and cry for two hours.

July 25, 2013 6:00 AM EDT

IT infrastructures are more crucial to running a business than ever before. End users expect access to their applications and data anytime, anywhere. IT is expected to keep the infrastructure up and running and performing optimally 24/7. At the same time, IT infrastructures are becoming increasingly complex  through layers of abstraction which raises the chance that ‘ghosts in the machine’ will be harder to find and will have a more significant impact. So, the question IT must answer is: How do you holistically manage performance across your entire IT infrastructure?

July 18, 2013 6:00 AM EDT

Whether you work for a large company or a small startup, chances are your business is global in nature. And if it’s not there yet, I would expect that it’s part of your organization’s long-term strategy. The real question for companies today is not if they should expand - but when and where to expand. Building a global business brings tremendous benefits to your organization, but only if the expansion is done in a thoughtful way.

July 08, 2013 6:00 AM EDT
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