Apple Hires Adobe Technology Chief Kevin Lynch as Vice President

Apple Inc. hired Adobe Systems Inc. Chief Technology Officer Kevin Lynch, adding a software executive who helped build some of the earliest Macintosh applications and later sparred publicly with the iPhone maker.

Lynch, who has worked at Adobe since 2005, will become Apple’s vice president for technology, reporting to Senior Vice President Bob Mansfield, the Cupertino, California-based company said yesterday.

During Lynch’s tenure, Apple and the software maker clashed over the use of Adobe’s Flash video program on Apple’s devices. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs said Flash was ill-suited for mobile computing and banned its use on the iPhone or iPad. Lynch said the move would cost Apple customers.

The conflict has since abated as Adobe and other technology companies embrace the emerging Web standard HTML5 as an alternative for running video on handheld devices.

Lynch had led Adobe’s push to focus more on subscription-based services and wireless devices, introducing Creative Cloud software, which lets designers use mobile applications for creating printed pages and websites from an iPad or other tablets. Adobe currently has more than 500,000 Creative Cloud subscribers, the company said yesterday.

Adobe doesn’t plan to hire a new chief technology officer.

Lynch may help Apple build out more so-called cloud services that let customers access stored content from different devices, an area where Google Inc. has made strides, said Jeffrey Hammond, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc.

Google Rivalry

“It could be a signal Apple is interested in more than just the device -- Adobe has done a good job transitioning its products to the cloud and putting in place the elements of a subscription model,” Hammond said in an e-mail.

Lynch, who will leave Adobe on March 22, joined the company when it acquired Macromedia, where Apple marketing executive Phil Schiller also once worked. Before that, Lynch was an early developer of software for Apple’s Macintosh personal computer, including the program FrameMaker for designing and editing large documents. Frame Technology was also acquired by Adobe.

Lynch also worked at General Magic, a company founded by early Apple engineers that focused on handheld computing projects long before the iPhone was introduced.

Apple shares fell less than 1 percent to $454.49 at the close in New York yesterday, while Adobe declined less than 1 percent to $40.75.

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