As a young boy in India, Shantanu Narayen never imagined that he'd become one of the top CEOs in the world. Narayen, who has served as the President, Chairman, and CEO of Adobe since 2007, dreamed of dedicating himself to journalism before his parents coaxed him into studying engineering instead. Today, Narayen couldn't be more thankful for the guidance. The same could likely be said for Adobe's shareholders. As CEO, Narayen has led the company's digital transformation, moving its creative suite from the desktop to a pioneering cloud-based subscription model. He's also played a key role in the company's $3.4 billion acquisition of Macromedia (which developed Flash) and its $1.8 billion takeover of Omniture in 2009. As a result of his leadership, Adobe has achieved record revenue and industry recognition. In 2018, the company exceeded $100 billion in market cap and joined the Fortune 400 for the first time. That same year, it was also ranked No. 13 on Forbes’ Most Innovative Companies list.
Narayen began his career at Apple as a manager in 1989. Over the next six years, he served in multiple management positions and played an instrumental role in the revitalization of the technology giant. He then joined Silicon Graphics as a director, before creating the Pictra Society, an online photo sharing site.
Apart from his career at Adobe, Narayen is a member of the board of directors at Stario, Dell, and Pfizer and the advisory board of his alma mater, the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley. He also serves as the president of Adobe Foundation, the philanthropic branch of the company that devotes its resources to various charity initiatives across the globe.
Throughout his career, Narayen has been recognized by several publications as one of the world’s leading executives. This includes Barron’s World’s Best CEOs and Fortune Businessperson of the Year lists. In 2011, Barack Obama appointed him as a member of his Management Advisory Board. Among numerous awards, Narayen is a recipient of an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Bowling Green State University; the civilian honor of India Padma Shri; and the Economic Times Global Indian of the Year award.
Adobe, which now ranks as one of the largest and most diversified software companies in the world, forecasts that its total market will reach approximately $128 billion by the end of 2022.