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John W. Thompson born at
He is currently married to Sandra, an attorney. He has two children from a previous marriage.
He was born to John H. Thompson and Eunice Thompson in New Jersey. His father was an army man and the family often moved from one place to another after transfer. His family later on settled in Florida.
He attended Lincoln High school where he became a talented clarinet player. He won a music scholarship to Lincoln University in Missouri. However, he did not want to major in music and transferred to Florida A&M University from where he received his Bachelor of Business Administration in 1971.
He joined IBM as a sales representative in 1971. Determined to create his own unique image, he began sporting a huge moustache and a large afro hairstyle in order to set himself apart. Later on he realized the importance of a professional look and changed his style.
Following a successful sales career he landed his first management position and became an IBM branch office manager in Atlanta in 1975.
In 1980 he was transferred to Boston as administrative assistant to the regional manager and three years later he became the regional marketing director.
IBM sent him to earn a Master’s degree in Management (M.B.A) from the Sloan Fellows program of the MIT Sloan School of Management in 1983. This was a program designed especially for mid-career executives.
He was fast becoming a very valuable employee of IBM and was being promoted to exceedingly responsible positions because of his amazing management and leadership skills. In 1984 he was moved to IBM headquarters in White Plains to work as the assistant to the CEO and the chairman.
He is a highly successful business professional who over a duration of ten years is credited to have altered the fortunes of a mediocre Symantec Corporation by transforming it into a world leader in internet security products by reorganizing and directing the corporation with his leadership.