Position: President and CEO, Adobe
Location: San Jose, Calif.
Shantanu Narayen knew back in 2005 that Flash technology would become much more than a download that allowed you to play fun, time-wasting games. That’s why he co-led the $3.4 billion acquisition of Flash pioneer Macromedia. Today, Flash not only drives YouTube, but it’s quickly becoming one of the determining factors for the viability of smart phones and other types of handheld Internet gadgets.
It’s no wonder Microsoft recently licensed Flash Lite for its Windows Mobile platform. In fact, more than half a billion mobile devices have shipped with the software so far. Narayen, who became CEO in December of 2007, is accelerating Adobe’s mobile evolution even further with new services like Flash Home (a start screen for phones with personalized content) and Flash Cast (an application that caches data to deliver news, traffic, stocks, and weather without surfing the mobile Web).
Add in bold new initiatives like Photoshop Express and the Adobe AIR platform, and you have a CEO who is smart enough to know that his company’s livelihood depends upon thinking outside the boxed software.
Did You Know: Narayen used to work for Apple.