John W. Thompson, chief executive officer of privately held Virtual Instruments and former chairman and CEO of Symantec, was appointed to Microsoft’s board of directors, returning the board’s size to 10 members.

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

Since 2009, Mr. Thompson has been an active investor in early-stage technology companies in Silicon Valley. He served as chairman and CEO of Symantec for ten years. Mr. Thompson stepped down as CEO of Symantec in 2009, and stepped down from Symantec’s board of directors in 2011.

Previously, Mr. Thompson held a number of leadership positions at IBM, including sales, marketing, software development and general manager of IBM Americas. He was a member of IBM’s Worldwide Management Council.

Mr. Thompson currently serves on the board of United Parcel Service, and he 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. He formerly served on the national board of Teach for America, an organization dedicated to eliminating educational inequities for all children.

Mr. Thompson received a bachelor of business administration from Florida A&M, and a master’s degree in management from the Sloan Fellows program of the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Microsoft’s board of directors consists of 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; Reed Hastings, founder, chairman and CEO of Netflix; 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; and Dr. Helmut G. W. Panke, former chairman of the board of management at BMW.