Apple and Adobe had an acrimonious relationship a few years ago. In 2010, there was a great debate about whether or not Apple should bring Adobe’s Flash, the software that powers many web videos and animations, to the iPhone.
Apple wouldn’t budge, saying Flash wasn’t a good experience on mobile touchscreen devices and caused a huge drain on battery. Steve Jobs famously wrote a public statement on the issue called “Thoughts On Flash” to explain Apple’s rationale.
On the other side of the battle, there was Adobe’s CTO Kevin Lynch. Lynch wasn’t shy about needling Apple. He even made a quirky video where he destroyed the iPhone in a bunch of different ways, “MythBusters” style.
So, when Apple poached Lynch last year (reportedly to work on the company’s smartwatch project), a lot of Apple fans weren’t happy. One of Apple’s biggest defenders, John Gruber, called Lynch a “bozo” and a “bad hire” on Daring Fireball.
With all the bad blood between the two companies, you probably would have expected Adobe to show Lynch the door when he announced he was joining Apple.
But that’s not at all what happened.
According to a few tipsters, Adobe threw a going-away party for Lynch in-house, where colleagues could celebrate his work at Macromedia and Adobe.
Adobe even made a well-designed T-shirt for Lynch, featuring his name and signature glasses on the front:
On the back the shirt said “Lynch” and the number 16, for his combined 16 years of work for Macromedia and Adobe:
Sources close to Lynch say it’s no surprise he left Adobe. “Kevin’s always been a true Mac fan,” one source said.
“It was really telling about how important he was that despite all the politics there was a big party to celebrate Kevin’s contributions,” said another source.
Apple is expected to release the so-called iWatch this October. That’s when we’ll get a chance to see how Lynch’s contributions to the project have worked out.