MENLO PARK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Lightspeed Venture Partners (Lightspeed) announced today the addition of John W. Thompson, Chairman of Microsoft, to its team of investors. In his new role as a Venture Partner, Mr. Thompson will work alongside the Lightspeed enterprise team to find and evaluate new investment opportunities as well as provide mentorship and advice to Lightspeed’s broader portfolio.
Mr. Thompson brings more than 40 years of enterprise leadership and entrepreneurial experience to the firm. In his current role as Chairman of Microsoft, he has helped to guide the company through an important CEO transition and helped them navigate the shift to the cloud. In 2010, Lightspeed invested in Virtual Instruments (VI), where he served as CEO. Before VI, Mr. Thompson had an incredible 10 year run as CEO of Symantec, where he oversaw 10x revenue growth from $600M to $6B and led the company through a diverse set of strategic shifts and transactions. Prior to Symantec, he spent 28 years at IBM, where he held multiple leadership roles in Sales, Marketing, and Software Development.
“What’s clear from the time I’ve been in this industry is that innovation never stops. So, if you’re going to be helpful to companies large and small, you must have your finger on the pulse,” said John W. Thompson, Venture Partner, Lightspeed. “Few firms have the reach and powerful footprint that Lightspeed does—they’ve been partners with me as investors in my own company in the past, and I’m thrilled to move forward with them to invest in the next wave of innovative companies as a Venture Partner.”
“John is a highly respected leader, and an institution in the valley and broader tech industry,” said Arif Janmohamed, Partner, Lightspeed. “John will make an immediate impact with the Lightspeed family of founders, and we’re excited to dig in with him and help build and scale the next generation of enduring enterprise companies.”
As a Venture Partner at Lightspeed, Mr. Thompson will spend his time focusing on enterprise investing, with a specific interest in security and infrastructure. With three unicorns already in his portfolio—he sits on the boards of Rubrik (a Lightspeed portfolio company), security micro-segmentation leader Illumio, and Domo—he also is an investor in a diverse set of younger startups including Reviver (a digital licence plate company), Nashville-based Digital Reasoning (an AI company with applications to the life sciences), and Phantom Security (recently acquired by Splunk).
“As an early investor, and now Board Member, John’s expertise in building and strategically scaling businesses has been a tremendous asset for Rubrik,” said Bipul Sinha, co-founder and CEO, Rubrik. “Speed is the greatest advantage early-stage companies have over incumbents. John's perspectives have enabled us to make good decisions faster.”
Lightspeed Venture Partners is an early stage venture capital firm focused on accelerating disruptive innovations and trends in the Enterprise and Consumer sectors. Over the past two decades, the Lightspeed team has backed hundreds of entrepreneurs and helped build more than 300 companies globally, including Snap, The Honest Company, Nest, Nutanix, AppDynamics, MuleSoft, and GrubHub. The Firm currently manages over $4 billion of committed capital and invests in the U.S. and internationally, with investment professionals and advisors in Silicon Valley, Israel, India and China.