A resourceful businessman and a recipient of the prestigious Padmashri honour, Shantanu Narayen is the Chairman and CEO of Adobe Systems. With a net worth of over $140 million, the business tycoon has set a mark among global leaders owing to his sensational accomplishments during his tenure at Adobe. With a ubiquitous omnipresence in IT as well as politics, the man has proven his versatility as a leader and the Economic Times of India recently named him the ‘Global Indian of the Year’ for the year 2018.
Hailing from Hyderabad, Narayen completed his BE from Osmania University in India and then went on to receive an MBA from University of California, Berkeley. After completing his MS at Bowling Green State University, Ohio, Narayen started the climb uphill with notable names like Apple Inc, Silicon Graphics and later, founded the digital photo sharing pioneer, Pictra Inc. In 1998, he joined Adobe as the Senior Vice President of worldwide product research and later, was promoted to the position of Executive Vice President. By the end of 2007, Narayen was soaring to his current position as the CEO of Adobe Inc, and has since been known as the transformational backbone of the company.
Under Narayen’s dexterous leadership, Adobe soon bundled under its belt remarkable successes with various creative and digital document software franchises. Additionally, the crowning glories of Adobe known today — programs like Photoshop, Premiere Pro and Acrobat/PDF — were all expanded and deployed at the cloud interface. While explaining Adobe’s future strategies, he expounded, “Being transparent about our plans enables us to get better feedback.”
Narayen’s grasp of the needs of the global markets helped the company to secure a $100 billion market capital in the year 2018, which also led to Adobe being listed among the Fortune 400 companies. In the same year, he was ranked #12 on Fortune’s ‘Businessperson of the Year’ list. Previously, in 2010, he had been declared the winner of the ‘International Imaging Industry Association Leadership’ award.
However, there is more to Narayen than his vocational achievements. In 2011, the leader was appointed in the Management Advisory Board of the former US president, Barrack Obama. Moreover, he plays a vital role among the board of directors for Pfizer Inc and is the Vice Chairman for the ‘US-India Strategic Partnership Forum’.
Marching boldly towards success with the mission of disruption, Narayen once famously shared his leadership philosophy and stated, “Preserving the status quo is not a winning strategy.” As one of the top CEOs in the world today, he has been believed to be the key behind the scenes persona for Adobe’s escalation in digital marketing. A leader par excellence, Narayen truly belongs to the rare breed of businessmen, who encourage entrepreneurs to go beyond the expected to deliver the anticipated.