Apple's Hiring of Kevin Lynch Questioned Amid Concerns Over His Staunch Defense of Flash

flashplayer_165x165Following yesterday's news that Adobe Chief Technology Officer Kevin Lynch will be leaving to join Apple as vice president of Technologies, reporting to Bob Mansfield, there has been a considerable amount of discussion about the move. In particular, observers have pointed to the role Lynch played in backing Flash in the face of Apple's insistence that it was a technology with too many problems and which needed to be left behind.

Daring Fireball's John Gruber has been particularly vocal about Apple's hiring of Lynch, pointing back to several events such as his continued cheerleading for Flash as recently as two years ago as evidence that he is a "bozo" who will turn out to be a poor hire for Apple. "Bozo" was a favorite term of Steve Jobs, who used it to refer to people who were not of the caliber they believed themselves to be, and former Apple evangelist Guy Kawasaki has highlighted the "Bozo Explosion" phenomenon described by Jobs as one of the biggest potential threats to a company.

A players hire A+ players.

Actually, Steve believed that A players hire A players - that is people who are as good as they are. I refined this slightly - my theory is that A players hire people even better than themselves. It’s clear, though, that B players hire C players so they can feel superior to them, and C players hire D players. If you start hiring B players, expect what Steve called “the bozo explosion” to happen in your organization.

An argument can obviously be made that Lynch was a staunch defender of Flash because it was his job to be one, but his role as Chief Technology Officer also means that he had considerable influence over the direction of Adobe's efforts with respect to Flash. As a result, Lynch's continued defense of Flash even as it was clear that mobile devices were driving technology toward HTML5 solutions has raised eyebrows and generated concern over whether he will be a good fit for Apple.

In one final dig at Lynch, Gruber highlights Adobe's 2009 introduction of iPhone apps built using Flash, featuring Lynch starring in a Mythbusters parody that included putting an iPhone into a blender and crushing another one with a steamroller as part of an effort to get Flash to run on the device.

Top Rated Comments

Rogifan Avatar
120 months ago

If Apple does need to hire one guy, I prefer bringing back Scott Forstall instead of this Chief Flash Officer. (At least Scott is an A player.)

Bring Scott back to do what? Take iOS backwards? Release another half baked product like maps and passbook?
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chrmjenkins Avatar
120 months ago
He was an advocate for his company and his brand. Doesn't mean he loved flash as a product. He's an adult, he can separate professional decisions from personal ones.
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
uknowimright Avatar
120 months ago
giving too much importance to Gruber
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Tankmaze Avatar
120 months ago
hopefully this is not gonna be browett part II.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ugahairydawgs Avatar
120 months ago
I truly hope Tim would indeed lead the company in the right direction.

If Apple does need to hire one guy, I prefer bringing back Scott Forstall instead of this Chief Flash Officer. (At least Scott is an A player.)
An A player? He was a guy that refused to accept any blame for the half assed maps app they released and was, by all accounts, terrible to work with.

In my office....that gets you the door too.

-------------------------------------------------

As far as this new hire goes....I'm not going to sit here and pretend I know enough about talent evaluation of tech workers to say whether or not this is a good hire. But I wouldn't say that his defense of Flash is necessarily a strike against him. Guy was an exec at Adobe.....he would have been doing his job poorly if he was doing anything other than a full throated defense of his product.

Time will tell whether or not this is a good hire and if he somehow isn't....it won't make a hill of beans difference for the vast majority of us.

Not sure why users of a company's products become such micro-analyzers of corporate hiring activity.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
liavman Avatar
120 months ago
This obsession with Flash is sickening to me. People get over it. Technologists are not perfect when it comes to technology directions.

I do not know about this guy but trashing him publicly like this does not speak very well of Apple observers. They come across vengeful. This almost feels like these observers following through their defense of Steve's position on Flash. It does not need any defense. The war was won. Behave like winners.

Tim Cook of course had been there all along and knows the Apple Adobe relationship, both positive and negative.

Question is: Who sought out whom and why?

Until that is known, all this haranguing over flash is rehashing a 5 year old discussion which is not relevant any more.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Renders Highlight Multiple Design Changes

Wednesday May 25, 2022 8:56 am PDT by
Leaker Jon Prosser today shared ostensibly accurate renders of the iPhone 14 Pro, providing the most accurate look yet at what the device could look like when it launches later this year. In the latest video on YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser revealed renders of the iPhone 14 Pro made by Apple concept graphic designer Ian Zelbo, highlighting a range of specific design changes...
iPad Pro USB C Feature Coral

Deals: Apple's iPad Pro Reaches Up to $449 Off in Amazon's Latest Sales

Wednesday May 25, 2022 10:09 am PDT by
Amazon is marking down a wide variety of 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models this week, with prices starting as low as $749.00 for the 11-inch tablet. You'll find the full list of sales below, all of which can be found on Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep...
apple account card

Wallet App Now Supports Apple Account Cards on iOS 15.5

Wednesday May 25, 2022 5:01 pm PDT by
Apple appears to have recently updated the Wallet app to allow users to add an Apple Account Card, which displays the Apple credit balance associated with an Apple ID. If you receive an App Store or Apple Store gift card, for example, it is added to an Apple Account that was previously visible in the App Store and Apple Store apps. As of today, the Apple Account balance can also be added to...
iphone 13 pro max display bleen

iPhone 14 Max Reportedly Weeks Behind Schedule [Updated]

Thursday May 26, 2022 7:25 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 Max is currently behind schedule by around three weeks, according to Haitong International Securities analyst Jeff Pu. Yesterday, Nikkei Asia reported that at least one iPhone 14 model was three weeks behind schedule due to the impact of lockdowns on Apple's supply chains in China, but it was not clear which iPhone 14 model this related to. Now, Pu has clarified that the model...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Screen Refresh Rate Upgrade Could Allow for Always-On Display

Tuesday May 24, 2022 7:23 am PDT by
Last year's iPhone 13 Pro models were the first of Apple's smartphones to come with 120Hz ProMotion displays, and while the two iPhone 14 Pro models will continue to feature the technology, their screens could well boast expanded refresh rate variability this time round. To bring ProMotion displays to the ‌iPhone 13 Pro models‌, Apple adopted LTPO panel technology with variable refresh...
Apple Tap to Pay iPhone

Apple Stores Rolling Out iPhone-to-iPhone Contactless Payments Starting Today

Wednesday May 25, 2022 6:54 am PDT by
Apple in February unveiled a new "Tap to Pay on iPhone" feature that will allow compatible iPhones to accept payments via Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets, with no additional hardware required. Apple began testing the feature at its Apple Park Visitor Center earlier this month, and now Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has tweeted that the feature will begin...
apple tv 4k design green

Apple Releases tvOS 15.5.1 for Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K

Wednesday May 25, 2022 9:42 am PDT by
Apple today released tvOS 15.5.1, a minor update to the tvOS operating system that first launched in September 2021. tvOS 15.5.1 comes about 10 days after the launch of tvOS 15.5. tvOS 15.5.1 can be downloaded over the air on the Apple TV through the Settings app by going to System > Software Update. ‌‌‌‌‌‌Apple TV‌‌‌‌‌‌ owners who have automatic software updates...