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
112 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
112 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
112 months ago
giving too much importance to Gruber
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Tankmaze Avatar
112 months ago
hopefully this is not gonna be browett part II.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ugahairydawgs Avatar
112 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
112 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)

Related Stories

studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
YouTube Picture in Picture Feature

YouTube Premium Subscribers Can Now Use iOS Picture-in-Picture: Here's How

Wednesday August 25, 2021 3:55 am PDT by
Google has rolled out picture-in-picture support as an "experimental" feature for YouTube premium subscribers, allowing them to watch video in a small window when the app is closed. If you're a premium YouTube subscriber looking to try out picture-in-picture, follow these steps: Launch a web browser and sign into your YouTube account at YouTube.com. Navigate to www.youtube.com/new. Scroll...
gradiente iphone white

Brazilian Electronics Company Revives Long-Running iPhone Trademark Dispute

Tuesday May 19, 2020 1:06 pm PDT by
Apple has been involved in a long-running iPhone trademark dispute in Brazil, which was revived today by IGB Electronica, a Brazilian consumer electronics company that originally registered the "iPhone" name in 2000. IGB Electronica fought a multi-year battle with Apple in an attempt to get exclusive rights to the "iPhone" trademark, but ultimately lost, and now the case has been brought to...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
ryanscoolios13thumbnail

Apple Releases iOS 13.1.3 With Bug Fixes for Phone, Mail, Health, and More

Tuesday October 15, 2019 10:09 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 13.1.3 and iPadOS 13.1.3, minor updates to the iOS 13.1.2 software that was released two weeks ago. This is the fourth update to the iOS 13 operating system that came out in September. The iOS and iPadOS 13.1.3 updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the updates, go to Settings > General > Software Update....
bluetti eb70 main

MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Bluetti EB70 Portable Power Station and 200W Solar Panel

Friday September 3, 2021 11:13 am PDT by
For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with MAXOAK to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a Bluetti portable power station and an accompanying solar panel. Bluetti makes a range of portable power station options that are useful for camping, emergencies, power outages, off-grid living, and similar situations. The Bluetti EB70 is a solid middle of the road option that offers 716Wh and...
M1X MBP Feature

Leaker: Upcoming MacBook Pro to See Price Hike Over Current Model, Equal Performance Across 14 and 16-Inch Sizes

Tuesday August 24, 2021 5:28 am PDT by
The upcoming 14-inch MacBook Pro is set to be more expensive than the current 13-inch MacBook Pro and both the 14 and 16-inch models will offer the same performance, according to the leaker known as "Dylandkt." The leaker shared the information on Twitter, explaining that both of the upcoming MacBook Pro models, expected to come in 14 and 16-inch sizes, will feature the same performance due...
iphone 13 teal with text

Apple Expecting iPhone and iPad Supply Constraints in September Quarter

Tuesday July 27, 2021 2:34 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call covering the third fiscal quarter of 2021 (second calendar quarter), Apple CFO Luca Maesteri said that Apple is expecting supply constraints to affect the iPhone and the iPad in the coming quarter. "The supply constraints that we've seen in the June quarter will be higher in the September quarter," said Maestri. The constraints will impact iPhone and iPad sales...
os x mountain lion macs 16x9 2

Apple Makes OS X Lion and Mountain Lion Free to Download

Wednesday June 30, 2021 12:19 pm PDT by
Apple recently dropped the $19.99 fee for OS X Lion and Mountain Lion, making the older Mac updates free to download, reports Macworld. Apple has kept OS X 10.7 Lion and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion available for customers who have machines limited to the older software, but until recently, Apple was charging $19.99 to get download codes for the updates. As of last week, these updates no...
maxresdefault

Craig Federighi and Greg Joswiak Discuss iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, Privacy, Shortcuts on Mac, and More

Saturday June 12, 2021 6:12 am PDT by
As is tradition, Apple executives Craig Federighi and Greg Joswiak joined Daring Fireball's John Gruber in an episode of The Talk Show to discuss several announcements that Apple made over this weeks WWDC, including iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, and a large focus around privacy. Federighi kicks off the conversation discussing the common architecture, now thanks to Apple silicon, across all of...