Welcoming John W. Thompson as a Venture Partner at Lightspeed

Building and scaling an enduring enterprise company is one of Silicon Valley’s most rewarding challenges. While founders, CEOs and their executive teams are on the front line of building the business, the most savvy founders rely on a network of experienced advisers for support. And so, behind many successful founders, a small group of board members, mentors and supporters have advised on how to build a seasoned team, scale a winning culture, and tune the right go to market engine.

To this end, we are thrilled to welcome John Thompson as a Venture Partner to Lightspeed. In this role, he will lend his 40+ years of enterprise leadership and entrepreneurial experience to our team. As a Venture Partner, he will roll up his sleeves with a number of our portfolio founders to help them solve their various scaling challenges and he will also work side by side with our enterprise investment team to find and evaluate new opportunities.

John’s illustrious career has taken him down many interesting paths. He is currently the Chairman of Microsoft, where he has guided the company through a CEO transition and helped them navigate the IT shift to the cloud. He also sits on the boards of Rubrik (a Lightspeed portfolio company), and gene sequencing company Illumina.

We first got to know John almost a decade ago when he had just joined a young startup called Virtual Instruments (VI) as CEO. We partnered with John through our investment in VI and we worked closely with him through a number of wins and challenges.

Before VI, John 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, John spent 28 years at IBM, where he held multiple leadership roles in Sales, Marketing, and Software Development.

We are sure that John will make an immediate impact on the Lightspeed family. We are excited to dig in with him and help build and scale the next generation of enduring enterprise companies. Welcome to the Lightspeed team, John!

Arif Janmohamed is a Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners. He focuses on investments in enterprise IT and infrastructure and sits on the boards of a number of rapidly scaling companies, including Netskope, Qubole, Mist, Split, TripActions, and OverOps. In his free time, Arif plays ice hockey with his wife, who yells at him for never passing the puck to her.

Lightspeed is an early stage VC firm focused on accelerating disruptive innovations and trends in the enterprise and consumer sectors. Lightspeed has backed 300+ companies globally in the past two decades including Nutanix, AppDynamics, MuleSoft, Snap and Nest.