Conspiracy theorists had a field day with yesterday’s confirmation that Kevin Lynch, Adobe’s Chief Technology Officer, will soon be taking an executive role at Apple, joining the iPhone maker as its VP of Technology and reporting directly to Apple’s SVP of Technologies Bob Mansfield. Lynch joined Adobe after the Photoshop maker snapped up Macromedia in 2005. Macromedia originally developed Flash technology and Lynch has been instrumental in its continuing development at Adobe.
By the virtue of his job, Lynch had to cross swords with Apple as the Cupertino firm refused to support Flash for the iPhone. Watchful fans have dug up this cringe worthy homage to MythBusters, a parody video from 2009 where Lynch attempts to get Flash working on the iPhone by pretending to blow up Apple’s handset. He also ran over it with a steam roller and destroyed it in a blender. First day on the job should be fun, indeed! Jump pat the fold for more goodies…
Kudos to Apple pundit John Gruber for sharing this clip from Adobe MAX 2009.
Kevin’s hire is bound to continue fueling speculation for weeks to come.
Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt reminds us that Lynch worked at General Magic with Bill Atkinson and Andy Hertzfeld from the original Mac team and his personal web site lists Douglas Engelbart, Alan Kay, Tim Berners-Lee and Steve Jobs as his heroes.
@dujkan again I think he was just saying what he was paid to say. Doesn’t means he meant any of it
— Sebastien Page (@SebastienPage) March 20, 2013
Here’s another video I’d bet my shirt Lynch would prefer never happened.
9to5Mac editor Seth Weintraub makes a few interesting points by pointing out that Apple’s SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller served as Macromedia’s VP of Product Marketingfrom December 1995 to March 1997. Lynch was there as well from February 1996 to June 2000 so “the two likely spent some time together, although it was admittedly a decade and a half ago.”
Randy Ubillos, creator of Apple’s iMovie and Final Cut Pro, also worked at Macromedia.
@dujkan Adobe does have wildly successful products in the imaging category. Bloatware is more of managerial responsibility.
— Rounak Jain (@r0unak) March 19, 2013
At any rate, this hire came as a surprising move given how vocal a supporter of Flash Lynch used to be, arguing publicly with Steve Jobs over the Adobe technology and defending Steve’s accusations of Flash being unreliable, unstable, insecure, resource-demanding and power-hungry.
After Adobe killed Flash for Mobile in November 2011, just after Steve Jobs died, Lynch now finds himself at Apple, “the company that likely put the dagger in his Flash baby,” writes Weintraub.
Life works in mysterious ways.
Here’s AllthingsD’s Kara Swisher interviewing Kevin Lynch about Adobe’s escalating war on Flash with Apple.
So, what’s your assessment regarding Apple’s new hire.
Is Lynch a “bozo” and a “bad hire”, as Daring Fireball’s John Gruber opined, or a “rising star”, as Wired’s Steve Levy called him?