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Mark C. Thompson

Mark is Chief Executive Officer of The CEO Academy, the 24-year McKinsey/Wharton/SHRM partnership to develop the world’s best leaders. He is founding Chairman of the Chief Executive Alliance. CEA focuses on CEO Readiness, providing executive coaching for three CEO cohorts: the current chief executive in the role, the C-Level executive candidates shortlisted in the Board’s succession plan to become the new leader, and preparation for outgoing CEOs and their teams.


The American Management Association and International Coaching Federation describe Mark as the World’s #1 CEO Coach, and in 2023 he became the first coach to be inducted into The Thinkers 50 Coaching Hall of Fame (Coaching Legends) and Global Gurus Hall of Fame. Mark is based in New York and Silicon Valley, and is also a Golden Visa resident of the UAE. With over 30 years’ experience scaling companies, Richard Branson recruited Mark to launch his Branson Entrepreneurship Centers and coach many of his Virgin-branded company co-founders and CEOs.

Mark was executive coach for Waymo co-CEOs Tekedra Mawakana and Dimitri Dolgov for Alphabet founder Larry Page. He coached Pinterest co-founder Evan Sharp; Lyft co-founder Logan Green; Kraft Heinz CEO Carlos Abrams-Rivera; Lambda founders and CEOs Stephen and Michael Balaban; Luminar founder and CEO Austin Russell; and leaders of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ AI and robotics initiatives, including Zoox CEO Aicha Evans and co-founder Jesse Levinson – more than 88 senior executive leadership development engagements.


At the Stanford Venture Design Lab, Mark was founding Chairman of Esurance, acquired by Allstate; founding investor & advisor to Supernatural, acquired by Meta; founding Chairman of Integration, sold to Silicon Labs; Chairman of mp3 player pioneer Rioport, acquired by Apple; founding Chairman of Interwoven, acquired by Hewlett Packard, where he’s served as coach to HP CEO Enrique Lores.

As CEO Advisor (Coach) at the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, Mark was honored to support the Chairman of the Department of Municipalities and Transport; Chairman, Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development; Chairman, Free Zones Council - Abu Dhabi, Chairman, Abu Dhabi Investment Office; Chairman, Etihad Aviation Group; Chairman, Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, Vice-Chair, Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM); and the CEO of OmanTel.
For The World Bank’s Dr. Jim Yong Kim, Mark coached Jim’s CEOs leading the International Finance Corp, International Monetary Fund and more than a dozen members of his global board.

Mark started his career in financial services with his mentor, Charles ‘Chuck’ Schwab as his Chief of Staff, Chief Communications Officer, then as Executive Producer of, the world’s first online trading and investment center.


He served on the financial securities committee of the World Economic Forum, and as adjunct faculty at WEF, Stanford University, John F. Kennedy University and Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership. He Co-Chaired the Institute of Coaching at the McLean School of Medicine at Harvard. Mark was cofounding advisor to Prof. Cliff Nass’ Stanford University Realtime Venture Design Lab, where Mark earned his second master’s degree and served as a visiting scholar at the Lab. Mark earned an M.A. from Stanford in 1998 and an MBA in management from Golden Gate University. He’s edited 22 books and written 3 bestsellers, including a NY Times bestseller, Admired, about Fortune’s Most Admired Companies. His upcoming book in 2024 is about CEO Readiness with Marshall Goldsmith and Byron Loflin at the Nasdaq Center for Board Excellence.


A native of Silicon Valley, California, Mark resides in Manhattan and Florida with his wife, Dr. Bonita Thompson, a bestselling author and professor of organizational performance and leadership at Vanderbilt University.  Among his philanthropic interests, Mark has produced Broadway shows that have earned 11 nominations and five Tony Awards. 




CEO LIFE PLAN REVIEW: LPR engages a community of more than 300 senior leaders in partnership with Dr. Marshall Goldsmith. |


NASDAQ Center for Board Excellence | View Here | 

HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW: Mark has authored more than 500 CEO interviews that you’ll find on the Chief Executive Alliance website, including those that have become articles like this one on CEO succession. | View Here

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