How Shantanu Narayen Leads Adobe To Success
The Indian-American business executive Shantanu Narayen is serving as the CEO of Adobe since 2007, it took him only a decade to rise to the top position at one of the biggest companies in the industry.
FREMONT, CA: Shantanu Narayen, the Indian-American business executive and the chairman and CEO of Adobe says, "If you can connect all the dots between what you see today and where you want to go, then it's probably not ambitious enough or aspirational enough."
Narayen asserts that he never calculated his career development, nor was he employed or interviewed again after his first job. While most opted to switch from engineering to product management after doing their MBA, he never did that, because he believes that "If it feels right, it should work out."
Born on 27 May 1963, Narayen grew up in a Telugu speaking family in Hyderabad, India. His father ran a plastic company, and his mother was a teacher of American literature. Narayen pursued his bachelor's degree in electronics and communication engineering from the University College of Engineering, Osmania University in Hyderabad, India and an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley. He is also a holder master's degree in computer science from Bowling Green State University, Ohio. Narayen would have become a professional golfer if he hadn't been a business executive.
During his tenure at Apple, he was mentored by Gursharan Singh Sandhu of Apple Talk, from who he learned how to challenge others and one. After serving Apple, he worked as the director of desktop and collaboration products for Silicon Graphics.
In 1998, he came to Adobe Systems as a senior vice-president of global product research and in time, became the chief vice president of worldwide products. In 2007, when Bruce Chizen resigned as CEO, Narayen, aged 45, assumed his current position as the Chief Executive Officer of Adobe Systems. Due to his incredible work ethic and extensive understanding of the technology sector, it took him only a decade to rise to the top position at one of the biggest companies in the industry.
As CEO, Narayen has led the renovation of the company, moving its creative and digital document software franchises from the desktop to the Cloud. Under his supervision, Adobe forecasts its total market to reach approximately $128 billion by 2022. Adobe's business is powered by three cloud-based solutions: Creative Cloud (Adobe XD, Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator etc.); Document Cloud (Acrobat DC, Adobe Sign and powerful mobile apps) and Experience Cloud that helps enterprises build campaigns, manage to advertise and gain deep intelligence about business performance. For the Adobe CEO, the company's supreme assets are its people. "Every single engineer at Adobe we've invested in is being trained in future technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Cloud to help businesses deliver better customer experiences," he mentioned.
Adobe which has been in India for over 20 years is witnessing a robust growth across verticals, including travel and hospitality clients like Vistara, SpiceJet, Indigo and Taj Hotels; Airtel, Vodafone-Idea in telecom; Flipkart, MakeMyTrip, Yatra, Tata CLiQ in the e-commerce space and HDFC Bank, IDFC Bank and Reliance General Insurance in the financial services sector, among others.
In 2011 May, he got a privileged doctorate from his alma mater, Bowling Green State University. He additionally got the American India Foundation (AIF) Business and Philanthropic Leadership Award in 2009. Shantanu was named one of the World's Best CEOs by Barron's in 2019, the fourth back to the back year he's received the honor, and was positioned as a Top President by Glassdoor in 2019. In 2018 Narayen was positioned 12 on Fortune's "Businessperson of the Year" list. He was likewise named "Global Indian of the Year" in 2018 by the Economic Times of India. At present, Narayen serves as a lead independent director on the board of directors for Pfizer Inc. and also as vice chairman of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum.