Shantanu Narayen Biography

(CEO of Adobe)

Birthday: May 27, 1963 (Gemini)

Born In: Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Shantanu Narayen is an Indian-American business executive who is currently affiliated with Adobe Systems Incorporated as the multinational software company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO). He also serves as the president of the board of the Adobe Foundation. Born in an affluent family in India, Narayen’s initial aspiration was to become a journalist. At his parents’ suggestion, he pursued a bachelor’s degree in electronics and communication engineering and later moved to the United States, where he garnered an MBA degree and a Master of Science degree. Narayen began his professional career at Apple and played an instrumental role in the revitalization of the technology giant. In 1998, he was hired by Abode as a senior vice-president of worldwide product research. In the ensuing years, he rose through the ranks swiftly and in November 2007, was appointed to his current post. Guided by Narayen, Adobe has made a dramatic turnaround in the recent years and has become a global brand with products used by the majority of technology consumers. Besides this, he holds five patents and often attends industry and academic events across the world as a keynote speaker. In 2011, former American President Barack Obama formally accepted him as a member of his Management Advisory Board.
Quick Facts

Indian Celebrities Born In May

Age: 60 Years, 60 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Reni Narayen

children: Arjun Narayen, Shravan Narayen

Born Country: India

CEOs American Men

Ancestry: Indian American

Notable Alumni: Bowling Green State University

City: Hyderabad, India

More Facts

education: Osmania University, Bowling Green State University, University of California, Berkeley

Childhood & Early Life
Shantanu Narayen was born on May 27, 1962 in Hyderabad, India into an affluent family. His mother was a professor of American literature while his father owned a plastics company. He grew up alongside his older brother. Initially, he wanted to become a journalist but his parents advised him to study engineering instead. According to Narayen, the only real options available to him back then were engineering and medicine, and he was afraid of the sight of blood.
After attending Hyderabad Public School, Narayen enrolled at the University College of Engineering, Osmania University (UCE), where he studied electronics and communication engineering. After graduation, he moved to the US to further his studies and eventually got a master’s degree in computer science from Bowling Green State University, Ohio, and a master’s degree in business administration from Haas School of Business, University of California.
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Instead of opting for an established multinational firm during campus recruitments, Shantanu Narayen joined a start-up named Measurex Automation Systems in 1986. A well-funded and successful venture, it provided the fresh graduate with some much-needed, real-world experience. In 1989, he joined Apple where he served in multiple management positions for the next six years.
In the mid-1990s, during the period known as the ‘Internet Boom’, he and his associates came up with the idea of an image-sharing website and in 1996, Pictra Inc., one of the first picture-sharing websites, was born. They had realised that the world is ultimately going to upgrade from analogue to digital photography and built an ecosystem that let clients drop off their roll of film and get digital pictures. However, after 12 to 14 months, it was apparent to them that the funding and business model had not quite matured.
Narayen himself admitted that he never calculated his career progression nor was he recruited or interviewed again after his first job. While most opted to switch from engineering to product management after doing their MBA, he never did that, believing “If it feels right, it should work out.”
During his tenure at Apple, he was mentored by Gursharan Singh Sandhu of Apple Talk, from who he learned how to challenge others and oneself. After Apple, he briefly served as the director of desktop and collaboration products for Silicon Graphics.
In 1998, he came to Adobe Systems as a senior vice-president of worldwide product research and in time, became the chief vice president of worldwide products. In November 2007, it was announced that Bruce Chizen would resign as CEO on 1 December. Aged 45, Narayen assumed his current position as the Chief Executive Officer of Adobe Systems, replacing Chizen. Due to his incredible work ethic and extensive understanding of the technology sector, it took him only a decade to rise to the top position at one of the biggest companies in the industry.
A central figure in Adobe’s success, Narayen has made Adobe a necessary tool for all sites and apps and has secured over 350 deals for them. In 2005, he had played a key role in Adobe’s $3.4 billion acquisition of Macromedia (which developed Flash) and in 2009, in the $1.8 billion takeover of Omniture.
He is highly conscious about the rapidly changing aspects of the technology sector and acknowledges the necessity of innovation and avoiding stagnancy. As of 2017, his total remuneration was $20.03 million.
Apart from his career at Adobe, he is a member of the board of directors at Stario Inc., Dell Inc., Pfizer, Inc. and the Advisory Board of the Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley, his alma mater. 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.
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Awards & Achievements
In 2008, Shantanu Narayen won the Haas School’s Business Leader of the Year Award (known as the Alumnus of the Year Award from 1970 to 1998).

He received the American India Foundation (AIF) Business and Philanthropic Leadership Award in 2009.
That year, he was ranked among “The Top Gun CEOs” on the list of Brendan Wood International, an advisory agency.
The International Imaging Industry Association conferred on him the Annual Leadership Award in 2010.
In 2011, Narayen was awarded the Global Innovator Award at Nasscom’s 7th Annual Global Leadership Awards.
In May 2011, he was given an honorary doctorate by his alma mater, Bowling Green State University.
Personal Life
Sometime in the late 1980s, Shantanu Narayen married Reni, who he met during his university days. They have two sons together, Shravan and Arjun. The family currently resides in Palo Alto, a city in California’s San Francisco Bay Area.
According to Narayen, if he hadn’t been a business executive, he would have been a professional golfer.

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