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 (at closing, the second largest M&A exit of a VC-backed company)
  • Duo Security in its $2.35 billion sale to Cisco
  • SpringCM in its $220 million sale to DocuSign
  • Cornershop in multiple transactions resulting in Uber’s acquisition of 100% of the business
  • 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 LLamasoft for $1.5 billion)
  • Hims & Hers in multiple acquisitions of telehealth businesses
  • ShopKeep in its announced $440M sale to Lightspeed POS 
  • NGINX in its $670 million sale to F5
  • Kenna Security in its sale to Cisco
  • Wisely in its $187 million sale to Ol

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.

John also represents target companies on the M&A aspects of transactions with special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), including leading on transactions by BarkBox ($1.6b pro-forma on announcement), Velodyne Lidar ($1.8b pro-forma on announcement) and by Hims & Hers ($1.6b pro-forma on announcement).

John was a recent guest on Drinks With The Deal, a podcast focused on M&A activity. John's podcast focused on SPACs can be accessed here

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.

Representations denoted by * 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