In good company

At Adobe, what you do and how you do it are equally important. The Founders’ Award gives employees the chance to recognize their peers for exceptional values.

The chance to create revolutionary technology is no small reason to launch a career at Adobe. But if you ask employees what makes Adobe a special place to work, you’re just as likely to hear another sentiment: It’s the people.

founders-johnchuckWhen Adobe founders John Warnock and Chuck Geschke set out to define the company in 1982, they spent a good deal of time establishing the company culture.

“In the beginning, John and Chuck would make a point of actually being at new employee orientations to talk to new hires about their values,” says Zak W., a computer scientist and 26-year veteran of Adobe. “Now those values are pervasive in the culture.”

Adobe characterizes those values as genuine, exceptional, innovative, and involved. Each year, the Founders’ Award recognizes employees who best demonstrate those values —and the award is considered the company’s highest honor.

The best part? Employees themselves determine who receives it. Each year, hundreds of employees submit nominations for their peers, and the executive team and former Founders’ Award recipients review every nomination before determining the winners.


Meet a few of the past winners and learn what Adobe values mean to them.


Computer scientist • Seattle, Washington, USA • 26 years at Adobe

What do you love about working at Adobe?

“I love that Adobe is working to maintain the culture that John and Chuck created. It makes me think of my father, who owned his own business for 45 years. The values he held are the ones that John and Chuck hold — inventiveness and intensity. I feel honored to work here.”

How do you think Adobe lives out its values?

“We go to great lengths to make sure we’re doing the right thing for the customer. That started in the beginning. For example, John, one of the founders, used every Adobe product up until he retired. I got bug reports written by John on tech features in InDesign®. To have that level of involvement all the way up to the former CEO — that tells you something.”

Why Adobe employees value Zak

“I’ve never seen Zak act with anything but the utmost honesty and integrity,” said one co-worker who nominated Zak. “It actually feels odd to even write that because Zak’s honesty and integrity are so obvious that I never think about it.”


Senior manager • Noida, India • 8 years at Adobe

What makes Adobe different from other companies?

“Adobe rewards people for living with integrity. Because of that, we can just focus on our work instead of worrying about other things.”

How do you think Adobe lives out its values?

“The nickname I have for Adobe is ‘A Dream Organization for Brilliant Engineers.’ That’s because Adobe really cares for its people. They help people grow beyond their daily tasks through training programs and volunteer opportunities. We aren’t just coming here to work — we’re building our careers.”

Why Adobe employees value Rekha

“While volunteering to help others, Rekha makes sure that she is giving enough space so we have a great team environment,” said one co-worker who nominated Rekha. “She has great listening skills, which is a great leadership trait.”



Computer scientist • Edinburgh, Scotland • 16 years at Adobe

What was it like to win the Founders’ Award?

“When I won the award, Adobe flew me to the United States to have dinner with the Adobe founders and the rest of the winners. I got to personally hear the story of the invention of PostScript® and Acrobat®. It was amazing for me to be in the presence of people who’ve been a part of paradigm-shifting technology.”

How do you think Adobe lives out its values?

“There’s a very strong team ethos in terms of solving problems for customers. When there’s a hard technical problem, Adobe encourages collaboration and knowledge sharing, and that enables people to bring their best to the table.”

Why Adobe employees value Seoras

“Seoras is extremely creative and regularly seems to find solutions to unsolvable problems,” said one co-worker who nominated Seoras.

Back to top