Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch resigns to work at Apple

Lynch is joining the biggest critic of Adobe's Flash technology

Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch is leaving the company to take a job at Apple, a one-time close partner of Adobe that became the most vociferous critic of its Flash technology.

Lynch resigned Monday to "pursue other opportunities," Adobe said in a regulatory filing Tuesday. It later confirmed that he is taking a job at Apple. Lynch had been CTO of Adobe for five years.

"We will not be replacing the CTO position; responsibility for technology development lies with our business unit heads under the leadership of Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen," Adobe said in a statement sent via email.

"Bryan Lamkin, who has recently returned to Adobe, will assume responsibilities for cross-company research and technology initiatives as well as corporate development," Adobe said in its emailed statement about Lynch's departure. "We wish Kevin well in this new chapter of his career."

Apple and Adobe once were close partners, with much of Adobe's creative design software sold on Apple's Macintosh computers. They still work together, but Apple's opposition to Flash drove a wedge between them.

Under former CEO Steve Jobs, Apple refused to let Adobe's Flash products run on its iPhones and iPads. In a famous public letter, Jobs slammed Flash as an unreliable, proprietary resource hog.

Adobe eventually stopped developing Flash for mobile browsers and shifted its efforts to HTML5.

In the midst of the spat, Lynch himself accused Apple of becoming the Big Brother that it had rebelled against in its famous 1984 TV commercial.

Neither Apple nor Lynch could be reached for comment.

News of his resignation came on the day Adobe reported its financial results for the quarter. Its net income sank 65 percent year over year to US$65.1 million, while revenue declined 4 percent to $1.01 billion, Adobe said.

James Niccolai covers data centers and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow James on Twitter at @jniccolai. James's e-mail address is james_niccolai@idg.com

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