Welcome!

Adobe Flex Authors: Matthew Lobas, PR.com Newswire, Shelly Palmer, Kevin Benedict

Related Topics: Adobe Flex

Adobe Flex: Article

Adobe/Macromedia - Microsoft, Look Out!

As the Adobe-Macromedia Transaction Nears Its Close, a Look Back, Sideways, and Forwards at What's Been Happening Since April 18

On April 18, 2005, as we all know, Adobe Systems Incorporated announced a definitive agreement to acquire Macromedia in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $3.4 billion. This is a look back, sideways, and forwards, based on what's been happening since then.

After the inevitable wave of early name speculation subsided...would the company be renamed Adobomedia? Macrodobedia? AcroMacrobe?...both Macromedia's Chief Software Architect Kevin Lynch and Adobe's CEO Bruce Chizen made it clear to MXDJ (http://mxdj.sys-con.com/read/49240.htm) and the San Francisco Chronicle respectively that the name of the combined company after Adobe had purchased Macromedia was going to be Adobe pure and simple. Or, as the FAQ promptly displayed on the web phrased it (www.adobe.com/aboutadobe/invrelations/ adobeandmacromedia_faq.html#q6):

What Will Be The Name of the Combined Company?
Adobe Systems Incorporated.
There was no margin of error either so far as the executive pecking order was concerned. As early as April 18, both Adobe and Macromedia carried on their web sites the following statement:

In the combined company, Chizen will continue as chief executive officer and Shantanu Narayen will remain president and chief operating officer. Stephen Elop, president and chief executive officer of Macromedia, will join Adobe as president of worldwide field operations. Murray Demo will remain executive vice president and chief financial officer. Dr. John Warnock and Dr. Charles Geschke will remain as co-chairmen of the Board of Directors of the combined company and Rob Burgess, chairman of the Macromedia Board of Directors, will join the Adobe Board.

This was fleshed out a little in terms of reporting structure [my emphasis below] in the FAQ (www.adobe.com/aboutadobe/invrelations/ adobeandmacromedia_faq.html#q21):

Bruce Chizen will be the chief executive officer of the combined company. Shantanu Narayen will be the president and chief operating officer reporting to Chizen. Macromedia's current chief executive officer, Stephen Elop, will be president, Worldwide Field Operations also reporting to Chizen. In this role, Elop will be responsible for Adobe's sales, field marketing, professional services, sales operations, customer service and technical support. Murray Demo will be executive vice president and chief financial officer reporting to Chizen.
The FAQ added:
Additionally upon close of the transaction, we anticipate other members of Macromedia's senior management will be joining the combined company in key leadership positions.
"Microsoft Is the Competitor"
The goal of the acquisition was and is for the post-transaction Adobe to be able to offer to the customers of the combined company "a broad set of tools, services and solutions for design, digital media, documents, and collaboration" as well as developing new market opportunities around mobile and enterprise solutions that build upon the Adobe and Flash platforms.

This is key. Adobe saw and sees the functionality of Adobe PDF and Macromedia Flash as complementary, enabling the deployment of an industry-defining, cross-media, rich-client technology platform across multiple operating systems and devices.

And where does Microsoft fit into all of this? The answer was already spelt out by Bruce Chizen in 2004, when he spoke to the [email protected] newsletter published by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, recognized around the world for its innovative leadership and broad academic strengths.

"When I think about competitors," Chizen told the newsletter, "there's only one I really worry about. And it's one that happens to have $35 billion in revenues and $50 billion in the bank. And it happens to be in the software business. Microsoft is the competitor, and it's the one that keeps me up at night." Wharton legal studies professor Kevin Werbach was quick in April to say that the transaction makes a lot of sense for both firms:

"For Macromedia, it was unclear whether the company could have survived in the long run as an independent. While its business has been growing rapidly especially in non-PC gadgets such as cell phones and personal digital assistants."

As Macromedia's former CEO, Robert Burgess, explained in an interview with [email protected] in October (http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/ index.cfm?fa=viewArticle&id=1059), Macromedia didn't have the girth to compete with larger companies like Microsoft.

A key passage in the Wharton interview came when Burgess was asked (remember, this was back in 2004) to what extent Adobe competed with Macromedia: "Very little" was Burgess's immediate response. He elaborated that the only two cases of point products where the two companies competed were Adobe Illustrator/FreeHand and GoLive/Dreamweaver:

"FreeHand competes with Illustrator - it's probably 85% [Adobe Illustrator] / 15% [Macromedia FreeHand] market share - something like that. Dreamweaver has about 95% market share and [Adobe] GoLive has about 5%. Those are the two cases of point products where we compete."

Although FlashPaper produces both a [Flash] SWF-based document format and a PDF format, Burgess was adamant:

"Seriously, I believe that the amount of overlap between Adobe and Macromedia - five years ago - was substantial. And now, it is very little."

When asked whether this a conscious move, Burgess explained that what happened was that Adobe concentrated on some businesses - and really got going with them.

"Adobe's been a document-centric company, and it's done very, very well. Adobe invested in Acrobat for a long time and it was unwavering. And it finally broke through - and that's a great business. Photoshop's a great business for Adobe - we don't have anything that competes with that. Video's a great business for them, as is PostScript. In all their businesses, Adobe has lots of growth and lots of profit. We don't participate there." Meantime Macromedia took a different path, Burgess pointed out:

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

Comments (3) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
JSaiya 10/21/05 12:40:46 PM EDT

"He [Macromedia's former CEO, Robert Burgess] elaborated that the only two cases of point products where the two companies competed were Adobe Illustrator/FreeHand and GoLive/Dreamweaver"

Hmm. What about Photoshop/ImageReady vs. Fireworks? Or do they consider FW to be just an add-on to Dreamweaver? I know FW alone is not a competitor to Photoshop for non-Web imaging, but in the Web space...?

I'd hate to see FW disapear. Maybe ImageReady will go away.

MXDJ News Desk 10/15/05 04:29:00 PM EDT

Adobe/Macromedia - Microsoft, Look Out! On April 18, 2005, as we all know, Adobe Systems Incorporated announced a definitive agreement to acquire Macromedia in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $3.4 billion. This is a look back, sideways, and forwards, based on what's been happening since then.

Ruth 09/21/05 05:40:58 PM EDT

"Spelt"?
spelt
n.
A hardy wheat grown mostly in Europe.

Did you not mean spelled out?

@ThingsExpo Stories
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.