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Symantec boss on US Commerce Secretary shortlist

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Symantec boss John Thompson is on a two-person shortlist to fill the role of the next US Commerce Secretary, the final unfilled vacancy in President-elect Barack Obama's cabinet.

Thompson, 59, chairman and chief exec at Symantec, recently announced that he would step down from leading the security and storage software giant in April. Symantec spokesman Chris Payden told Reuters that Thompson was in Washington last week and that he held talks with Obama's transition team last week - without confirming this was about a government post.

Former Time Warner chairman Richard Parsons is reportedly the other person on the Commerce Secretary shortlist. The vacancy was reopened after after New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson withdrew in the wake of a corruption probe.

We should learn who gets the role before Obama's inauguration, next Tuesday (20 January).

Thompson, who spent the majority of his career with IBM, has served on the National Infrastructure Advisory Committee (NIAC), which gives advice on securing critical infrastructure assets for the last six years. He's one of the small number of African Americans in charge of a major technology company. ®

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