updated 07:18 pm EDT, Tue March 19, 2013
Will be VP of Technology under Bob Mansfield
In a surprise move, the Chief Technology Officer at Adobe has left the company effective Friday to become a Vice President of Technology at Apple. Kevin Lynch -- who once famously defended mobile Flash against Apple's exclusion of the technology in its iOS devices -- will report to Senior Vice President of Technologies Bob Mansfield, who may be intending to groom Lynch as a possible successor. Though Lynch is known more for software engineering, he will be working with Apple's wireless, battery, semiconductor and materials teams in his new position.
CNBC discovered the move in an 8-K SEC filing from Adobe, and Apple later confirmed the hire. Adobe says it will not replace Lynch's position and instead have CEO Shantanu Narayen lead technological development, though recently-returned Adobe executive Bryan Lamkin will take on responsibility for research and technology initiatives in support of Narayen.
Given Lynch's background -- he briefly worked alongside Phil Schiller when both were at Macromedia in the late 90s -- he would be an ideal candidate to act as a liason between Mansfield's hardware-focused team and the software engineers working on OS X and iOS, and is likely to work closely with SVP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi. The move will be effective as of March 22, Adobe said, and it is notable that the company issued only a terse statement of facts with the usual "we wish Kevin well in this next chapter of his career" tagline, somewhat unusual with departing executives of Lynch's stature. However, AllThingsD is reporting that Lynch only formally resigned yesterday, saying he wanted to "pursue other opportunities" -- suggesting that the split may not have been entirely amicable or known to Adobe much in advance.