John is a partner in our Northern California offices, and a leader in the firm’s Mergers and Acquisitions practice group.

John H. Olson
John H. Olson
San Francisco
Silicon Valley
P+1 415 801 4942
John H. Olson

John is a specialist in mergers & acquisitions, with broad experience advising sellers, buyers and investors in private and public companies in mergers, stock purchases, asset sales and other strategic transactions. John particularly focuses on serving technology industry clients (including software, internet, hardware, scientific equipment and telecommunications), as well as biotech and other life sciences firms, although he also has experience working with financial services and industrial enterprises.

John has closed dozens of M&A transactions, with an aggregate value in excess of $80 billion. Recent private target transactions include representations of:

  • Flipkart in Walmart’s $16 billion investment
  • Duo Security in its $2.35 billion sale to Cisco
  • SpringCM in its $220 million sale to DocuSign
  • NGINX in its $670 million sale to F5
  • Flatiron Health* in its sale to Roche for $1.9 billion
  • AppDynamics* in its sale to Cisco for $3.7 billion
  • Coupa in multiple acquisitions of software companies (including of Exari for $215 million)

Recent public deals include representing KLA-Tencor* in its $3.4 billion acquisition of Orbotech, Apigee* in its $625 million acquisition by Google, FEI* in its $4.2 billion sale to Thermo Fisher Scientific, and Xactly* in its $564 million going private transaction with Vista Equity Partners. John also represents investors in M&A exits of their portfolio companies, including Thrive Capital in the $7.5 billion acquisition of GitHub by Microsoft.

Prior to joining the firm, John practiced in the San Francisco office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, and in the New York and Paris offices of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.

* certain listed representations were prior to joining Gunderson Dettmer.


  • Northwestern University School of Law, J.D.
  • Johns Hopkins University, M.A.
  • Williams College, B.A., Political Science, History


  • California
  • New York