Microsoft Corp. has appointed John W. Thompson to the company’s board of directors, returning the board’s size to ten members. Thompson currently serves as CEO of Virtual Instruments, a privately held company in San Jose, Calif. that ensures the performance and availability of applications deployed in virtualized and private cloud computing environments.

Thompson, former chairman and CEO of Symantec Corp., also is an active investor in early-stage technology companies.

He joins existing Microsoft board members Bill Gates, Microsoft chairman; Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO; Dina Dublon, former chief financial officer of JPMorgan Chase; Raymond V. Gilmartin, former chairman, president and CEO of Merck & Co. Inc.; Reed Hastings, founder, chairman and CEO of Netflix Inc.; Dr. Maria M. Klawe, president, Harvey Mudd College; David F. Marquardt, general partner at August Capital; Charles H. Noski, vice chairman of Bank of America Corp.; and Dr. Helmut G. W. Panke, former chairman of the board of management at BMW AG.

Thompson stepped down as CEO of Symantec in 2009 and from Symantec’s board of directors in 2011. During his 10-year tenure as CEO, revenues for the security, storage and systems management solutions company grew from $632 million to $6.2 billion.

He currently serves on the board of United Parcel Service, and previously has served on a number of government boards and commissions, including the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, the National Infrastructure Advisory Committee, and the Silicon Valley Blue Ribbon Task Force on Aviation Security and Technology.

Bill Gates, Microsoft chairman: “John has extraordinary technology and business expertise, and we are delighted that he is joining Microsoft’s board of directors.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft chief executive officer: “John brings a wealth of experience, from enterprise customers to individual consumers, as well as the insights that come from running a successful large global software company and a fast-emerging startup. He will be a great addition to our board.”

Thompson: “I am honored to join the Microsoft board and work with this exceptional team. Microsoft has been a leader across the entire information technology landscape for decades, and I look forward to sharing my experiences and contributing to the future direction and growth of this global leader.”

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