Adobe Turns 30

December 3, 2012

Creativity. Big data. Changing the world through digital experiences. That’s the Adobe we know today, and this week, we are proud to celebrate our 30th Anniversary as a company.

As part of the celebrations, we asked our some of our employees to share stories of our incomparable co-founders, John Warnock and Chuck Geschke, and memorable moments in their Adobe career that reflect Chuck’s and John’s passion for the business, warmth and wit, and enduring impact on employees.

“My first day at work, Chuck and John were at Adobe for an event and I rode in the elevator with them. They both introduced themselves and said, ‘Welcome to Adobe.’ Awesome!” – Gail B., San Jose, USA

“During my first year at Adobe in the late 1990s, we had a booth at CeBIT in Hanover and Chuck Geschke came over for press and customer meetings. We had a staff room for employees and their belongings on the first floor, which included a couch. When I entered to drop off my laptop, there was nobody in the room except for Chuck lying on the couch and sleeping—due to the jetlag. I silently closed the door and put a post-it outside saying, ‘Do not disturb—Chuck inside!’ About an hour later, the show closed down and the team had a cocktail at the booth. Suddenly, Chuck entered and asked, ‘Who did that?’—he did not look very pleased. ‘My career at Adobe is over,’ is what I thought before I slowly raised my hand. Then, he suddenly started laughing, grabbed a cocktail, raised it and said, ‘Thank you!’” – Katrin B., Munich, Germany

“When I first started at Adobe, we had been out of education for two years. So coming to Adobe I got to work with John Warnock several times directly. I got to see him in action by bringing him to a large community college event to be a keynote speaker. I saw him bent over, elbows on his knees stroking his eyebrows as the gentleman before him was speaking. Having seen his keynote address in preparation for the event, I realized when he got up there that he had literally taken everything the speaker had just said and revamped his entire keynote on the fly to be relevant and tie the presentations together for the audience. It was the first time in quite a while he had spoken to an education audience and they were mesmerized. I realized that day how thoughtful, brilliant, passionate and in tune John Warnock was to his audience. It made me proud to work for him and Adobe. I’ve never forgotten that day.” – Lisa D., Austin, USA

“Using a feature from AiCS5 (Bristle Brush) I created a portrait of Dr. Warnock. This was up for display at TechSummit 2011. I had also taken a print of this art along to the summit, in anticipation of having it autographed by Dr. Warnock. And during a break, I got my moment. ‘So you’re the one,’ John said. ‘Could you send me the digital file?’ Later, he sent a personal email to me mentioning how he and his family liked the portrait.”
– Neeraj N., Noida, India

“My favorite story is with Chuck and John at the 25th anniversary party. They both had gone on sales calls with me over the years, so we are friends. I had come back to Adobe (boomerang) and I went up to Chuck to say ‘hi’ and let him know that I was back. He said, ‘You look fantastic, you haven’t changed a bit.’ I was so flattered. Then he said, ‘I am sorry to tell you that I don’t see as well as I used to.’ Snap! I died laughing. The best part was when John stood behind him and said, ‘He doesn’t hear as well, either!’” – Leslie O., Los Angeles, USA

“The most memorable moment was when I got the opportunity to personally present the features of the new version of Adobe Illustrator to John Warnock (the man himself who wrote the first version of this great product) on his visit to India and then again to meet him at Tech Summit 2011. Seeing Chuck in person was also a great high for me. Both John and Chuck are such great living legends who have founded this great institution.” – Ravi Kiran P, Noida, India

At one of the Adobe Tech Summits I walked up to meet Chuck Geschke and I incorrectly said, ‘Hi John!’ After I apologized, I walked away thinking that he probably will forget about it. Well on stage during the end of the Tech Summit Q&A, he retold the story and said, ‘Well, one Adobe employee just called me John in the hallway,’ when answering one of the questions about the future of identity on the Internet. I can now safely assume that he didn’t forget that moment and it is recorded in the Tech Summit archive, so I might as well put it as an answer to this question.’” – Jeff S., Minnesota, USA

“I was most proud seeing Chuck and John receive their National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Obama in 2009. That was not only a reflection on their great work and careers, but on the culmination of work by all Adobe employees over nearly three decades.” – Mike S., San Jose, USA