- While Adobe is best known for Photoshop, it has undergone a significant transformation over the last decade under CEO Shantanu Narayan, shifting its business model and adding new product lines.
- As the company continues to evolve, it's now taking on new competitors like Salesforce and Zendesk.
- To tackle its many challenges, Narayan relies on a key group of leaders within his company.
- We've identified the 15 executives that are leading Adobe behind the scenes and helping Narayan navigate its future.
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While Adobe is still best known for its flagship photo editing software Photoshop, it's spent the last decade transforming itself: expanding its business and adapting to the changing world.
CEO Shantanu Narayan has been spearheading that shift since 2007.
To keep up with the move to the cloud, for example, Adobe transitioned its photo editing and creative software tools from the old one-time purchase format into a new annual or monthly subscription model. It also built out a digital marketing software unit, with the thesis that its many users who were marketing professionals would buy tools that showed them how the content they created with Adobe's others products was performing.
Today, it's business revolves around Adobe Creative Cloud, which includes Photoshop and its other design software, Document Cloud, which includes its PDF and digital signature tools, and Experience Cloud, the digital marketing unit.
While its creative business has high margins, its digital marketing unit faces stiff competition from Salesforce and smaller players like Zendesk, Baird analyst Robert Oliver told Business Insider. Meanwhile, Adobe is also investing in technology like artificial intelligence to bolster all its product lines.
To tackle Adobe's challenges and grow the company, Narayan relies on a group of key leaders within his company.
Here are the 15 people who have helped make Adobe into what it is today, and who will lead the charge as it continues to evolve:
Anil Chakravarthy, executive VP and general manager, digital experience business and worldwide field operations
Anil Chakravarthy joined Adobe in January to take on a key role at the company: Leading its digital experience business, which sells cloud-based marketing software. He recently took over worldwide field operations which includes the sales organization and customer success teams.
Before Adobe he was the chief executive at data management company Informatica, which he helped transform into a cloud-first, subscription-based business.
As Adobe tries to build traction for its cloud marketing business, Chakravarthy's experience will be vital.
"Adobe is the clear leader in the exploding Customer Experience Management category, and I cannot think of a more exceptional and experienced candidate than Anil to drive Adobe's Digital Experience business in 2020 and beyond," Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen said in a press release at the time of Chakravarthy's hire.
Abhay Parasnis, chief technology officer and executive VP, strategy and growth
Abhay Parasnis has been Adobe's chief technology officer for the last five years, leading its technology strategy and overall product engineering and data science agenda across the its entire portfolio of products. That includes leading Adobe's research into areas like artificial intelligence and machine learning. He recently spearheaded the launch of a new Photoshop Camera app that uses AI to take and edit photos, and hired Marc Levoy, the researcher who led camera development for Google's Pixel phone.
In February, Parasnis also began guiding Adobe's overall corporate strategy, strategic M&A, and global partnerships.
John Murphy, executive VP and chief financial officer
John Murphy leads Adobe's finance and operations team as its chief financial officer. He first joined the company in 2017 as its chief accounting officer and corporate controller.
Before joining Adobe, Murphy was the chief accounting officer and global controller at Qualcomm, and held finance roles at Direct TV and Experian before that.
Gloria Chen, chief people officer and executive VP, employee experience
Gloria Chen leads all of Adobe's human resources, real estate, and security operations around the world, managing more than 22,000 employees at 75 locations. She was promoted to the role in January when her predecessor Donna Morris left the company.
Previously she led growth initiatives like corporate strategy, corporate development, and strategic partnerships. CTO Abhay Parasnis took over those responsibilities in February.
Chen has been at the company for over 20 years and throughout her time has shaped its ecommerce strategy, built its enterprise business, and managed significant acquisitions and integrations. She's also held senior leadership positions in worldwide sales operations, customer service and support, and strategic planning before her current gig.
Ann Lewnes, executive VP and chief marketing officer
Ann Lewnes joined the company 13 years ago and now runs Adobe's marketing organization.
She is credited with overseeing Adobe's shift to digital, including adapting its marketing organization.
Prior to Adobe, she spent 20 years at Intel working in the marketing department.
Scott Belsky, chief product officer and executive VP, Creative Cloud
Scott Belsky's main focus is developing and evolving Adobe's Creative Cloud suite of products, which are a huge part of its business. He manages product management and engineering for its Creative Cloud products and services, Adobe Spark, and Adobe's user community Behance. He also manages the design team, which stretches across all Adobe's products.
This is Belsky's second stint at Adobe: He originally joined when it acquired Behance — the company he cofounded — in 2012. He then spent roughly four years leading Adobe's mobile strategy for Creative Cloud until 2016 when he left for venture firm Benchmark. He returned in late 2017.
Alisa Bergman, VP, chief privacy officer
Alisa Bergman is responsible for making sure Adobe's products use customer data ethically and responsibly. She leads the trust and safety team and her role covers data security and privacy efforts, as well as regulatory and public policy matters. That means she's responsible for adapting Adobe's polices to align with Europes GDPR regulations and California's recently-enacted consumer privacy laws.
Bergman has been at Adobe for four years, joining after six years as chief privacy officer for Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
Cynthia Stoddard, chief information officer
As chief information officer, Cynthia Stoddard runs Adobe's global information technology and reliability engineering teams. She creates the strategy for delivering services and tools that keep the company running.
She joined Adobe four years ago, after serving as the chief information officer at NetApp for five years.
Amit Ahuja, VP, ecosystem development
Amit Ahuja is responsible for building and managing strategic partnerships for Adobe. That includes partnerships with other large tech giants like Microsoft and IBM.
He was instrumental in helping build Adobe's enterprise business around its marketing cloud products, including overseeing its $1.8 billion acquisition of web analytics company Omniture and, more recently, Auditude.
Ahuja first joined Adobe in 2005 via its acquisition of Macromedia, where he was in the corporate development group focusing on mobile and video. He then joined the corporate development group at Adobe.
Bryan Lamkin, executive VP and general manager, digital media
Bryan Lamkin leads two of Adobe's key product lines: Creative Cloud and Document Cloud.
Adobe's Creative Cloud is the most well known of its product lines and has become the "gold standard" for design within companies around the world, said Baird Oliver.
Document Cloud also has a huge reach, as it includes Adobe's Acrobat Reader and related tools.
Lamkin, too, is an Adobe boomerang: He first joined in 1992 and spent more than a decade at the company, including leading Photoshop, before leaving in 2006. After a stints at startups as an investor and an executive, he rejoined Adobe in 2013.
Ashley Still, senior VP, digital media
Ashley Still is responsible for the day-to-day operations of both Creative Cloud and Document Cloud. Document Cloud products are seeing rapid growth under her leadership, especially as digital documents are becoming more necessary in the remote work era.
She's also helped get Adobe's digital signature tool in front of sectors like education and government, with usage increasing 175% since the beginning of the year.
She previously lead the Creative Cloud for enterprise business and was instrumental in transitioning Adobe from a packaged software company to a cloud-based subscription operating model. She first joined Adobe in 2004 as an intern.
Jamie Myrold, VP, design
Jamie Myrold has been leading design at Adobe for over 14 years. She's responsible for the user design of Adobe's creative tools as it made its transformation to a cloud-based software provider.
She writes on her LinkedIn that she wants to "inspire the next wave of design leaders" by "encouraging her teams to push boundaries and develop skills that impact all aspects of business strategy and product creation."
In addition to her main role, she has advocated for diversity and inclusion initiatives at Adobe.
Mala Sharma, VP & general manager, Creative Cloud product marketing and community
Mala Sharma runs product marketing and community for Adobe's Creative Cloud product line. She has been at Adobe for 15 years and has steadily risen up the ranks of the company's product marketing unit.
Previously she worked in marketing and business units for the tech and consumer packaged goods industry at Creative Labs and Unilever.
Dana Rao, executive VP, general counsel, and corporate secretary
Dana Rao leads Adobe's legal and government relations team as its general counsel. He's been at the company for over eight years, and originally joined as its VP of intellectual property and litigation, and was responsible for Adobe's patent, trademark and copyright portfolio strategies.
Previously, Rao worked at Microsoft for 11 years in both intellectual property and patent acquisition roles.
Anjul Bhambhri, VP, platform engineering
Anjul Bhambhri leads platform engineering at Adobe and is responsible for the strategy of Adobe's Experience platform, development and technology partnerships with Microsoft Azure, and Customer Journey Management.
Before Adobe, she worked at IBM for 14 years, most recently as vice president of engineering for its big data and analytics platform.
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