Florida A&M University (FAMU) alumnus John W. Thompson has been 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.
“Florida A&M University celebrates this achievement with John as he continues to excel in the world of business,” said FAMU Interim President Larry Robinson. “This is an excellent example of how the education our students receive at FAMU will propel them from the classroom to the boardroom and beyond.”
Thompson was inducted into the FAMU SBI Hall of Fame in 2011.
“John’s selection as chairman of Microsoft, one of the world’s most accomplished software companies, is a testament to the preparation that students receive at FAMU,” said Shawnta Friday-Stroud, dean of SBI. “He has been a major supporter of SBI through both his time and resources. We are extremely proud.”
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.