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Apple hires former critic, Adobe's CTO

Kevin Lynch leaves Adobe after eight years to become VP of technology in Apple's software group


Published: 20 March, 2013

READ MORE: People/Management | Apple | iPhone | Flash

Apple has hired Adobe's CTO Kevin Lynch to be its new VP for technology, perhaps reflecting a recognition that the iPhone maker needs to have some new ideas about its software. There are all kinds of ironies in Lynch, a public critic of Apple during its long feud with Adobe over Flash for iOS, joining his former enemy, but it will be welcomed as a sign that Apple is welcoming new ideas.

Lynch leaves Adobe after eight years and will report to Apple SVP Bob Mansfield. The wounds are already healing over the spat between the two companies as both embrace HTML5. Former Apple chief Steve Jobs refused to support Flash on iOS, saying it was ill-suited to a good experience on low power devices. Lynch was vocal during that battle, but has since turned his attention to adapting Adobe for a post-Flash world - focusing on subscription-based services and introducing Creative Cloud, which lets designers use mobile applications for creating printed pages and websites from an iPad or other tablets.

At Apple, he may be an asset for the iCloud platform, which CEO Tim Cook has said will be increasingly strategic - nonetheless, so far actions have not lived up to those words and the vendor remains conflicted about shifting its well-tried apps download model to the cloud.

Jeffrey Hammond, an analyst at Forrester Research, told Bloomberg: "It could be a signal Apple is interested in more than just the device. Adobe has done a good job transitioning its products to the cloud and putting in place the elements of a subscription model.

Lynch joined Adobe when the firm acquired Macromedia, also the alma mater of Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller. Before that, Lynch worked on early Mac applications such as FrameMaker, whose creator Frame Technology was also taken over by Adobe.

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