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Microsoft’s John Thompson is going to help venture capital firm Lightspeed find some deals

Thompson succeeded Bill Gates as chairman of the Seattle giant.

Microsoft Chairman of the Board John Thompson Stephen Brashear / Getty

The chairman of Microsoft, John Thompson, is deepening his ties to the venture capital community.

Lightspeed Venture Partners said Monday it had hired Thompson, a prominent executive who held top positions at Symantec and IBM, as a venture partner — a part-time advisory role that allows a venture capital firm to tap the partner’s expertise and network. Thompson, who is black, will also bring Lightspeed and the investing community some needed diversity.

The longtime exec is a big name in the world of enterprise startups. Thompson sits on the boards of some prominent enterprise companies such as Rubrik and Domo, and he’ll now likely join more boards as part of Lightspeed-led enterprise deals.

Thompson succeeded Bill Gates as chairman of the Seattle giant and oversaw the search that led to Satya Nadella being chosen as CEO.

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