A strange hire for Apple

Now former Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch is headed to Apple, the company who famously blocked out Flash on the iPhone and likely precipitated that technology’s long slide into relative obscurity

via TechCrunch.

This seems like a particularly strange hire for Apple in to what is a key influential position.  I can only hope that Bob Mansfield, to whom Lynch will report can exert significant influence and give direction.

For those of us who are nostalgic about these things, it’s worth pointing out that Lynch wrote a wholly misjudged defence of Adobe Flash / attack on Apple back in 2010 (by which point it was clear that Flash “had lost”) and an utterly bizarre Mythbusters spoof where he destroyed a number of iPhones in a humourless attempt to get Flash to run on them.  The highlight of the video has to be the end where they demonstrate that there were, in fact, Flash based apps already running on iOS.  The demonstration they chose was a South Park character creation app which was horribly unresponsive.  These are not the actions of a man with sound judgement.

However, there are positives.  Lynch appears to have been key to a number of technologies that have become very important not just for Adobe but also to the world of technology, including PDF.

He’s also more recently been focusing his efforts on migrating Adobe away from Flash and towards HTML5, which might suggest that he’s not the type to carry baggage with him.

But perhaps more telling is that Lynch was one of the key architects behing Adobe’s move to the Creative Cloud business model.  From Apple Insider:

A report by Bloomberg says Lynch “led Adobe’s push to focus more on subscription-based services and wireless devices, introducing Creative Cloud software, which lets designers use mobile applications for creating printed pages and websites from an iPad or other tablets,” noting that Adobe reported signing up more than 500,000 Creative Cloud subscribers.

That might give a hint as to what his role will be at Apple.