Shantanu Narayen- CEO Adobe

Shantanu Narayen- CEO Adobe

Purnima Narang || The CEO Magazine

Adobe, an American multinational computer software company has its major development operations in India, at locations including Noida and Bangalore. While the company has been established more than three decades ago, it has developed the latest software and created its unique name in the market. The Indian American business executive, Shantanu Narayen leads the brand as the chairman and CEO. He has been working with the Adobe Inc. for 21 years and dedicated his life working in various roles in the company including president and has been honoured with India’s civilian honour Padma Shri in 2019.


He was grown in a south Indian Telugu speaking family in Hyderabad, India. Born as the second child to working parents, a mother who taught literature and a father who ran a plastics company. He went to Hyderabad Public School in Hyderabad. He earned a bachelor’s degree in electronics and communication engineering from University College of Engineering, Osmania University in Hyderabad. He received his MBA from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in computer science from Bowling Green State University, Ohio.

After completing his education, he started his career at Apple. Following Apple, he served as director of desktop and collaboration products for Silicon Graphics, and then co-founded Pictra Inc. a company that pioneered the concept of digital photo sharing over the Internet. He joined Adobe in 1998 as a senior vice president of worldwide product research. He later took the responsibilities of executive vice president of worldwide products and was appointed to his current post in the company in November 2007.

Having dedicated so many years of his life to the company, he was rewarded with promotion throughout his career, while in November 2007; Adobe Inc. announced that Bruce Chizen would step down as CEO effective 1 December, to be replaced by Narayen.

He has been appointed by Barack Obama in 2011 as a member of his Management Advisory Board.

He has been leading the brand and Adobe’s leadership team towards the transformation of the company, moving its creative and digital document software franchises. The transformation included flagship programs such as Photoshop, Premiere Pro and Acrobat/PDF from the desktop to the cloud. Also, during his tenure as CEO in 2009, Adobe entered the digital experiences category, an expansion which began with the company’s acquisition of Omniture.

Last year under his leadership, the company exceeded $100B in market cap for the first time in company history during Fiscal Year 2018. The company has added more than $100B in market cap during the last 5 years. One of the major milestones for the company included being a part of the Fortune 400 company in 2018.

The visionary leader has received various honours during his life. He received an honorary doctorate from Bowling Green State University, his alma mater. He currently serves at the position of a lead independent director on the board of directors for Pfizer Inc. and as vice chairman of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum.

The visionary with at least 159 Million USD as of 24 January 2019 has been#12 on Fortune’s “Businessperson of the Year” list in 2018. He was also named “Global Indian of the Year” in 2018 by the Economic Times of India.

Being an inspiring leader, he has been committed to managing the expectations of the market are an important part of the duties and responsibilities of a CEO. He ensures communication with his team to ensure that all of the components that make up a corporation will move in the same direction instead of each component pulling this way and that way.

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