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Symantec CEO Bruited for Commerce Secretary

CEO hosted Obama fundraisers

The name of John W. Thompson, the CEO of Symantec, is said to be on a short list to become Secretary of Commerce in the new Obama administration. And Reuters, quoting a Symantec spokesman, says he's talked to the Obama transition team.

The cabinet post is the only one left still to be filled by a nominee. New Mexico Governor Bill Richards, Barack Obama's first choice, dropped out in the face of a corruption investigation that might have delayed his confirmation.

Thompson, 59, who hosted Obama fundraisers when the new president was still a relative unknown, said last November that he would retire as Symantec's CEO in April in favor of COO Enrique Salem.

He is one of the only African-American CEOs in the industry, certainly the only black leading a major software company, and was a long-time senior executive at IBM before taking over Symantec in 1999. He has also made Forbes' list of most highly compensated CEOs in the country.

The Commerce Department oversees the National Institute of Standards and Technology, responsible - among other things - for information security guidelines. The agency is also responsible for the Patent and Trademark Office, along with job creation, consumer affairs, and international trade.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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