Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen took over for long-time boss Bruce Chizen last Dec. 1. Before he started, we said there were two things he needed to focus on: 1) Transitioning Adobe (ADBE) from a boxed software giant to a Web- and “cloud”-driven firm, and 2) Fixing Adobe’s mobile strategy before Flash gets dumped.
So how’s he doing? Pretty well, we think!
We’ve been impressed with Adobe’s push further toward the Web, like today’s Web-heavy update to their Acrobat software, which has word processing, conferencing, and document sharing features, and their easy-to-use, Web-based Photoshop Express tool for editing and sharing images.
And Adobe has also taken the right steps to getting its Flash animation and video player on more mobile phones. How? By getting rid of the licence fee it used to charge gadget makers to put Flash on their devices, and by striking more distribution deals, like a new one for Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows Mobile and an improved one for Qualcomm’s (QCOM) BREW platform. (Still to-do: Getting Flash on Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone. Will that come next week?)
To be sure, many of these projects were probably in the works when Narayen was still COO and Chizen was running the show. But Narayen’s transition to CEO seems to have gone pretty smooth, and we’re pleased with his work so far. Keep it up, young man. We see promising things in your future.