Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch jumps ship for Apple
Adobe Systems' longtime CTO Kevin Lynch has resigned his position to join Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), the company whose steadfast refusal to support Adobe Flash on iOS-powered devices effectively ushered the video and multimedia technology into irrelevance.
"Kevin Lynch, Adobe CTO, is leaving the company effective March 22 to take a position at Apple," an Adobe spokesperson told AllThingsD. "We will not be replacing the CTO position; responsibility for technology development lies with our business unit heads under the leadership of Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen. Bryan Lamkin, who has recently returned to Adobe, will assume responsibilities for cross company research and technology initiatives as well as Corporate Development. We wish Kevin well in this new chapter of his career."
Apple confirmed the Lynch hire and said he will assume the position of vice president of technology, reporting to Apple SVP of Technologies Bob Mansfield and tasked with coordinating the firm's hardware and software units.
Lynch joined Adobe in 2005 following its acquisition of Macromedia, leading the company across three vectors: Multiscreen, cloud and social computing. He also spearheaded Adobe's Research and Experience Design teams. Sources said Lynch aspired to ultimately take over as Adobe CEO, but opted for the Apple gig because Narayen shows no signs of stepping down.
"Adobe has done a good job transitioning its products to the cloud and putting in place the elements of a subscription model," Forrester Analyst Jeffrey Hammond told Forbes. "Perhaps this gives Apple some experience that will help them compete with Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) on a front they are not very good at right now."
Adobe halted development of its browser-based Flash Player application runtime for mobile devices in late 2011, shifting its focus to native apps and the HTML5 Web standard. But in many respects the Adobe Flash deathwatch officially began in April 2010, when Apple rewrote its iPhone developer agreement to mandate that all applications must be written to run directly on the iOS platform, effectively banning cross-compiler translation tools like Adobe's Flash Professional CS5. Lynch publicly criticized the ban, calling Apple's move a "protectionist strategy" that was "bad for consumers."
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