Adobe CTO and long-time Flash defender Kevin Lynch leaves to become Apple VP of Technology

Adobe CTO and long-time Flash defender Kevin Lynch leaves to become Apple VP of Technology

Following strong Q1 2013 results, Adobe has confirmed that CTO Kevin Lynch has left the company to join Apple, where he will serve as a new VP of Technology.

Adobe provided the following statement to TNW:

“Kevin Lynch, Adobe CTO, is leaving the company effective March 22 to take a position at Apple.  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.”

The news, which was first reported by CNBC, is particularly interesting since Lynch has been known as a strong defender of Flash against Apple’s own views. He came to Adobe back in 2005 through its acquisition of Macromedia — the company which created Flash.

Tension has long existed between Adobe and Apple, particularly thanks to Steve Jobs’ decision to not support Flash on Apple’s highly popular iOS devices. Apple’s move greatly accelerated open Web standards support for HTML5 video and led developers to explore relying solely on JavaScript and CSS3 for interactivity.

In his new role, Lynch will report directly to Apple SVP Bobs Manfield. Originally set to retire last year, Mansfield was put in charge of the company’s new Technologies group during an executive shuffle last October. His unit combines Apple’s wireless and semiconductor teams.

Adobe’s decision not to replace Lynch is an intriguing one. The company’s statement suggests that its CEO will take a direct involvement in making overarching technology decisions while also allowing individual division chiefs to take responsibility for their own products. Last week saw Facebook and Twitter both fill their CTO slots after lengthy vacancies.

This news follows today’s release, which reported revenue of $1.008 billion and earnings per share of $0.35 on a non-GAAP basis. Analysts had expected the company to earn $0.31 per share on revenues of $985 million. The company exceeded those expectations, and announced 500,000 paid subscribers for its Creative Cloud service.

Apple’s no stranger to Adobe veterans. Last year, it hired Todd Teresi, who formerly served as Adobe’s Vice President and General Manager of Media Solutions at Adobe, to lead its iAd business.

Update 1: Adobe confirmed Lynch’s departure in an SEC filing:

On March 18, 2013, Kevin Lynch resigned from his position as Executive Vice President, Chief Technology Officer, of Adobe Systems Incorporated, effective March 22, 2013, to pursue other opportunities.

Update 2: Added statement from Adobe.

Top Image Credit: John Mitchell

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