Careers at Adobe Systems


Adobe Systems’ mission is to revolutionize how the world engages with ideas and information.

Business segments

Adobe Systems is a software firm that provides digital marketing and media solutions. The company operates three reportable business segments:

  • Digital Media – Services, solutions, and tools that enable individuals, small/medium businesses, and enterprises to create, publish and promote their content anywhere. Its key offerings are Creative Cloud, a service that allows members to download and install the latest versions of its creative products, and Document Cloud, a business built around integrated cloud-based document services.
  • Digital Marketing – Services and solutions for creating, managing, measuring, and optimizing digital marketing campaigns across multiple channels. Its key offerings are Adobe Marketing Cloud, an integrated offering for marketers, and two legacy enterprise software offerings: Adobe Connect web conferencing platform and Adobe LiveCycle, an enterprise document and forms platform.
  • Print and Publishing - Legacy products and services for various opportunities including eLearning solutions, technical document publishing, web application development, and high-end printing.


John Warnock and Charles Geschke were employees of Xerox Corporation’s Palo Alto Research Center. Warnock was involved in interactive graphics research, while Geschke conducted computer science and graphics research. The two were upset at Xerox because of the challenges they faced in getting their product ideas beyond the research stage. As such, they decided to leave the firm.

In 1982 the men founded Adobe, a software business. It was named after a creek that ran by their homes. The company’s first product was PostScript, a computer language that communicated with printers and other output devices. Specifically, it described the details of electronic pages, including the placement of lines, images, and characters. It enabled the production of polished documents.

The product gained popularity among advertising agencies, who found it indispensable. Adobe realized it had wide applicability, and began marketing and licensing it to manufacturers of various devices, including printers, computers, film recorders, and image setters. In 1985, Apple incorporated the language for its LaserWriter printer. Soon afterwards, it invested in a 19% stake in Adobe.

The next year saw several milestones. Adobe’s staff doubled in size. It developed over 5,000 PostScript applications for every hardware configuration and operating system. PostScript became available for use with mainframes and minicomputers. Confident due to its success, Adobe went public in 1986. By the end of the year, it had revenues of $16 million and income of $3.6 million.

Benefits at Adobe Systems

Business model of Adobe Systems

Customer Segments

Adobe has a segmented market business model, with slight differences between customer segments. The company targets its offerings at individuals, small/medium businesses, and enterprises that wish to use digital media and marketing services for varying purposes.

Value Proposition

Adobe offers three primary value propositions: accessibility, innovation, and brand/status.

The company creates accessibility by offering a wide variety of options. Customers can access its software from any device, including computers, tablets, smartphones, and televisions. Also, beyond its original offerings, it has acquired a number of competitors, which has enabled it to add many new capabilities to its portfolio. For example, purchasing rival Macromedia in 2005 allowed it to add Adobe ColdFusion, Adobe Contribute, Adobe Captivate, Adobe Acrobat Connect, Adobe Director, Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Fireworks, Adobe Flash, FlashPaper, Adobe Flex, Adobe FreeHand, Adobe HomeSite, Adobe JRun, Adobe Presenter, and Adobe Authorware to its product line.

The company has embraced innovation from the very beginning. For a long time, its PostScript was the only page description language available for multiple-computer environments, such as corporate office networks. Also, it created Display PostScript, a breakthrough offering because the language could communicate directly with a computer’s screen rather than through a printer. It also enabled users to control graphics on the screen. Adobe’s portfolio also includes groundbreaking products such as the image editor PhotoShop, the drawing program Illustrator, and the viewer Acrobat.

The company has established a strong brand as a result of its success. It is one of the largest software firms in the world, generating $4.8 billion in revenues in 2015, and bills itself as the global leader in digital marketing and media solutions. It processes more than forty trillion data transactions a year through its software-as-a-service products. Lastly, it has won many honors, including placement on the “100 Best Corporate Citizens” list by CR Magazine (2015) and the FTSE4Good Index (2015).


Adobe’s main channels are its website and direct sales force. It also acquires customers through retailers, distributors, software developers, system integrators, independent software vendors, value-added resellers, and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The company promotes its offering through its social media pages, online advertising, attendance of trade shows and conferences, and event sponsorships.

Customer Relationships

Adobe’s customer relationship is primarily of a personal assistance nature. It assists customers in the following ways:

Consulting Services – The company maintains a professional services team that designs and implements solutions for clients. It also utilizes partners such as system integrators, resellers, digital agencies, and solution partners to provide advisory services.

Customer Success Account Management – The company provides Customer Success Managers for its largest customers. The managers work with them individually to address unique needs.

Technical Support – The company offers enterprise support and maintenance services to subscription product and perpetual license customers. Specific offerings include technical support and product upgrades and enhancements. It also offers short term options such as fee-based incident support.

Training Services – The company offers a comprehensive selection of training services, including classroom and virtual course programs delivered by its training professionals and partners.

Despite this orientation, there is also a self-service component. Adobe’s website includes self-service learning options, tutorials, and answers to frequently asked questions. There is also a community element in the form of a forum where customers can interact with fellow users.

Key Activities

Adobe’s business model entails designing and developing its software products for customers.

Key Partners

Adobe maintains the Adobe Partner Connection Program, which includes the following sub-programs:

Reseller Program – Includes members who distribute and sell Adobe's digital media products and solutions.

Training Provider Program - Includes members who provide commercial instructor-led training on Adobe products.

Technology Partner Program - Includes members whose products and services extend, enhance, and support Adobe solutions.

Adobe Solution Partner Program - Includes members who deliver end-to-end digital marketing solutions and services that drive successful online initiatives.

Program benefits include training and sales/marketing resources, discounts on Adobe Press publications, opportunities to evaluate prerelease software, listing in the Adobe Partner Finder directory, and access to the Adobe Partner Connection Portal.

Key Resources

Adobe’s main resources are its human resources. These include engineering employees who design and develop its software products, sales/marketing staff who promote them, training/consulting staff who provide instructional/advisory services, and customer service staff who offer support.

Cost Structure

Adobe has a value-driven structure, aiming to provide a premium proposition through significant personal service and frequent product enhancements. Its biggest cost driver is sales/marketing, a fixed cost. Other major drivers are in the areas of research/development and administration, also fixed costs, and cost of revenues, a variable expense.

Revenue Streams

Adobe has three revenue streams: product revenues, subscription revenues, and services/support revenues (from training, consulting, and technical support fees).

Our team

Shantanu Narayen,
President and CEO

info: Shantanu earned a Master's degree in Computer Science from Bowling Green State University and an MBA from UC Berkeley. He previously served as Chief Operating Officer and Executive VP of Worldwide Product Marketing and Development at Adobe.

Mark Garrett,
Executive VP and Chief Financial Officer

info: Mark earned a Bachelor’s degree at Boston University and an MBA at Marist College. He previously served as Senior VP and Chief Financial Officer of EMC Corporation and Executive VP and CFO of Documentum, Inc.

Ann Lewnes,
Executive VP and Chief Marketing Officer

info: Ann earned Bachelor's degrees in International Relations and Journalism from Lehigh University. She previously served as Senior VP of Glogal Marketing at Adobe and as VP of the Sales & Marketing Group at Intel Corporation.

Abhay Parasnis,
Executive VP and Chief Technology Officer

info: Abhay earned a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Telecommunications from the College of Engineering Pune. He previously served as Senior VP of Cloud Technology & Services at Adobe and President and COO of Kony, Inc.