Adobe’s Kevin Lynch Makes Surprise Move To Apple – But Why?
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
In 2010, Steve Jobs penned a controversial manifesto explaining why he and his company were so diametrically opposed to Adobe’s Flash. A little less than three years following the now infamous “Thoughts on Flash” brief, it has been revealed that Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch will begin a new career with none other than Apple.
Apple has confirmed to All Things D that Lynch will now report to Apple’s senior vice president of technologies, Bob Mansfield. But with such a difficult history between the two companies, many are left wondering what Apple has up its sleeve.
Lynch gave his notice to Adobe yesterday, saying he wanted to “pursue other opportunities.” Adobe also confirmed this news with All Things D, saying: “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.”
Insider sources say Lynch had been eying the CEO chair at Adobe for some time, but it was a position Narayen plans to remain in for many years to come. Though Lynch won’t have the same power at Apple as he would have had as CEO with Adobe, he will be in charge of one of Apple’s most prized features: The tight integration of hardware and software.
Lynch was also a key player in the Flash debates between the two companies. When the first iPhone was released in 2007, many criticized it for not truly having the “full web” as Apple advertised. Without Flash, some argued, a device could not take advantage of the full Internet.
After two years and two new iPhone models came and went without Flash support, web developers watched the iPad announcement closely for any mention of Flash support by Steve Jobs. The best-selling tablet was released without support for Flash, and a few months later Jobs addressed these concerns in a public statement called Thoughts on Flash.
Lynch was one of the main detractors of Apple’s decision to leave Flash out of the iPad. Before Jobs could write his famous missive, Lynch made his own statements about the absence of Flash on iPad.
“Some have been surprised at the lack of inclusion of Flash Player on a recent magical device,” wrote Lynch in a February 2010 blog post.
“Flash in the browser provides a competitive advantage to these devices because it will enable their customers to browse the whole Web.” Later, Lynch even said that omitting Flash from a platform could send the state of the web back to the “Dark Ages” with no video and compatibility issues.
Since these debates, Adobe has officially abandoned their efforts to bring Flash to mobile players, a decision which Apple fans take as a victory.
Loved and loathed Apple pundit John Gruber got straight to the point when expressing his feelings about this move in a post titled: “Exhibit A in the Case That Newly-Hired Apple VP of Technology Kevin Lynch Is a Bozo, a Bad Hire”
“And now here we are today in the dark ages of video, where we can only see by the light of the millions of HTML5 videos playing on Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and iOS mobile devices.”
“I have a bad feeling about this,” writes Gruber.
Though Lynch was a key player in Flash, it’s doubtful that this move means a friendlier relationship between these two companies in the future.