Archive for November, 2010

Polysyllabic Titles

Last week we announced that I’d be assuming a new title:  Vice President and Chief Technologist, OBU, Adobe.  Luckily it has roughly the same number of syllables as my previous title, which as most of you already know, is the primary way I believe one should always measure the value of a title.  Although the prestigic mass of the title may not be changing, other things more definitely are.  The biggest change is that the Software Engineering, Product Management, and Network Operations groups will no longer report into me.  Instead they will report directly into the General Manager of our business unit, Brad Rencher.  This will eliminate virtually all my reports and relieve me of almost all operation responsibilities– and thus free me to better pursue the technology interests and product visions for Adobe.  I know right?!  While I’m not so naive as to think that I’ve reviewed and approved my last expense report, this will be a very welcome change.  How did I achieve such a coup?  Listen and learn, grasshopper…

 

As Omniture has become better integrated into Adobe, several functions have been elevated from the confines of the Omniture Business Unit and been grafted into the corporate structure.  The most notable examples of this include: Corporate Marketing, Sales, Support and Services.  As these changes have taken effect, however, they’ve actually changed the nature of our structure quite a bit and it occurred to me a few months ago that like 80% of Brad’s organization was reporting up through me.  In addition to that, my leadership team has continued to grow and have really come into their own.  Catherine Wong, VP Engineering  is doing an absolutely tremendous job of running that group (far better than I ever did).  Similarly when I saw Bill Ingram give a presentation to the company around our product strategy that was much better than any presentation I’ve ever done, I knew it was time for me to step aside and get out of the way!  Brandon Pulsipher, VP Network Operations, runs one of the largest SAAS infrastructures in the planet, and has been doing so with minimal input from me for years.  In short, I realized that this machine was perfectly capable of continuing to do its thing without me.  Not only that, but removing myself from the structure would give this leadership team more room to grow and do what they do best.  It would also help bring Brad Rencher even closer to this tremendous product team and couldn’t help but make him even more aware of the challenges and successes of that team.

 

A lot of people ask me why I’m still doing this… I suppose it is true that I could retire, but that isn’t really me.  I’m pretty sure if I tried that I’d be trying to claw my way out of the inside of my own skull within the year.  Similarly, there is certainly no need for me to stay at Adobe– as I mentioned earlier the product group has got the team, the leadership and the skills to be successful.  Not only that, but this is a great time for technology, and I’ve been approached with a ridiculously flattering number of interesting opportunities, many of which are highly compelling (rest easy, the balance still exists.  There are also some real stinkers out there 🙂 ).  But the opportunity that most attracts me is the one right here– the one we’ve already been pursuing for more than a decade.  Not only are the business opportunity and technical problems exciting and challenging, but the people I get to work with and the attitudes and culture they bring with them to work really make this something unique and special.

 

Thank you to all the Adobe (former Omniture and otherwise) who have made this such a great place to work and a special thank you to my leadership team for the tremendous job they’ve done over the years.  I’d be lying if I suggested that making this change isn’t at least a little bit painful– change nearly always is.  But at the same time, I’m completely confident that this is a great move, both for Adobe as well as for me personally, that makes it pretty easy to choke back those tears and eat a ham sandwich.

Advertisements