12 of the Most Accomplished Black People in Technology

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David Drummond, Chief Legal Officer, Google

When Edward Snowden leaked documents revealing the National Security Agency is allegedly tapping Google’s servers and private networks, David Drummond, the company’s chief legal officer, expressed his outrage and urged the need for dramatic reform in government intelligence policy.

In the wake of Snowden’s many revelations, major tech companies have been put under a microscope, and Google has taken the lead in being as transparent as possible about government requests for user info. Getting the public to regain trust in the Web and major tech companies like Google isn’t an easy task, but Drummond is tackling it valiantly, insisting that trust is to encourage innovation. Google has raised $25 million to date and has over 10,000 employees. It’s currently valued at $359 billion.

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John Thompson, CEO, Virtual Instruments; Chairman, Microsoft 

During John Thompson’s senior year at Florida A&M University, he joined IBM as a sales representative. He ended up staying for 28 years, and eventually rose to become general manager of IBM Americas. In 1999, Thompson got an offer from Symantec that he couldn’t turn down: the chance to be president and chief executive officer of the cloud security giant. He eventually retired in 2009, but started investing in early-stage startups.

Cloud computing startup Virtual Instruments was one of them. In 2009, Thompson joined Virtual Instruments’ board of directors, and stepped in as CEO in 2010. He only intended to stay for a few months, but investors would only finance the company if Thompson stayed on board as CEO.

Virtual Instruments has raised $66.5 million to date and employs fewer than 500 people.

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