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, including SPAC transactions and reverse mergers. John has closed dozens of M&A transactions, with an aggregate value in excess of $80 billion.

John particularly focuses on serving technology industry clients (including enterprise and consumer software, artificial intelligence (AI), e-commerce, security, fintech, crypto, insurance tech, digital media and hardware), as well as biotech, medical devices and other life sciences enterprises.  He has negotiated transactions across from some of the most prominent serial buyers of founder-led and VC-backed businesses, including Cisco, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Roche,, Uber, and Walmart.

In 2023, John was recognized by Lawdragon as one of the 500 leading dealmakers in America.

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.

Notable private target transactions include:

  • Flipkart in Walmart’s $16 billion investment (at closing, the second largest M&A exit of a VC-backed company)
  • The following companies in their sales to Cisco:
    • Duo Security ($2.35 billion)
    • AppDynamics* ($3.7 billion)
    • Kenna Security
  • in its sale to
  • Amgen in its acquisition of Rodeo Therapeutics for up to $721 million
  • Arctic Wolf in its acquisition of Tetra Security
  • Cornershop in multiple transactions resulting in its acquisition by Uber (Latin Lawyer’s Private M&A Deal of the Year)
  • Corvus Insurance in its $435m sale to The Travelers Companies
  • Coupa in over ten acquisitions of software companies (including of LLamasoft for $1.5 billion)
  • Flatiron Health* in its sale to Roche for $1.9 billion
  • Flexport in its acquisition of the Deliverr business from Shopify
  • Hims & Hers in multiple acquisitions of telehealth businesses (and in its combination with a SPAC)
  • Miroculus its sale to INTEGRA Biosciences
  • Newfront Insurance in its combination with ABD Insurance (combined enterprise valued at $1.35 billion)
  • NGINX in its $670 million sale to F5
  • Power Finance in its $275 million sale to Marqeta
  • Rêv Worldwide in its acquisition of Global Payment’s NetSpend business for $1 billion
  • ShopKeep in its $440 million sale to Lightspeed POS
  • The Athletic in its $550m sale to The New York Times Company
  • Wisely in its $187 million sale to Olo

John’s public company 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 has also led the representation of a number of target companies in transactions with special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs).

In addition, John represents investors in M&A exits of their portfolio companies, including a consortium of the principal investors (Index, Kleiner Perkins, Greylock) in Figma in the $20 billion proposed sale to Adobe (since abandoned by the parties), and Thrive Capital in the $7.5 billion acquisition of GitHub by Microsoft.

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.


  • California
  • New York