John Paczkowski and Peter Kafka of AllThingsD:
Apple spokesman Steve Dowling confirmed the hire, and said that [Kevin] Lynch will join Apple as vice president of technology, reporting to Bob Mansfield, SVP of Technologies.
A person familiar with the move said Lynch had aspired to eventually take the CEO job at Adobe, but that Shantanu Narayen isn’t giving that spot up anytime soon. At Apple, he’ll have a much less senior position, but potentially an important one, where he’ll be tasked with coordinating the company’s hardware and software teams.
Lynch one of the last to triumph Flash on mobile in an executive position. Granted, he was working for Adobe and therefore must market their products in the best possible light. But in a CTO position, it was partially his responsibility to steer the company’s products in the direction that the market was going.
Perhaps he’s reporting to Mansfield for boring corporate structural reasons, but it’s an intriguing placement for this hire. Mansfield runs hardware — something that Kevin Lynch wasn’t working on at Adobe. According to AllThingsD, his job is to “coordinate” hardware and software, but that sounds like a middle management position. Which makes me as curious as Craig Hockenberry:
The thing I don’t get with Kevin Lynch is that every SVP except Bruce Sewell has come up through the ranks. Apple hires from within…
The only reason to go outside the company is to find some expertise that doesn’t already exist. What that is eludes me…
Apple’s hires aren’t perfect, but they have a great batting average, especially for executives. Some people are calling this a mistake, but I like Manton Reece’s cautiously optimistic opinion:
Was he wrong about Flash? Yes. But I choose to view his move to Apple as an indication that he was at the wrong company more than that he was completely wrong-headed. Maybe it was time for something new, a course correction back to the earlier part of his career.
Lynch has a great history marred just recently. This is peculiar.