Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Apple's newest vice president: Bozo or rising star?

March 20, 2013: 7:06 AM ET

Adobe's Kevin Lynch comes to Apple with deep roots and a lot of baggage

Lynch defending Flash. Click for video.

Lynch defending Flash. Click for video.

FORTUNE -- The news that Apple (AAPL) has hired Kevin Lynch, formerly Adobe's (ADBE) chief technology officer, to be its new vice president of technology, has sparked something of a civil war among Apple partisans.

Wired's Steve Levy called Lynch a "star."

Daring Fireball's John Gruber called him a "bad hire" and a "bozo."

"Now we find out," tweeted Dave Winer, not entirely in jest, "if Gruber secretly runs Apple."

So who is Kevin Lynch?

As AppleInsider's Daniel Eran Dilger points out, he's a seasoned software team leader who could help fill the vacuum created with the departure last fall of Scott Forstall.

Lynch also has deep roots at Apple. He worked at General Magic with Bill Atkinson and Andy Hertzfeld from the original Mac team, and at Macromedia with Apple marketing VP Phil Schiller and Randy Ubillos, creator of Apple's iMovie and Final Cut Pro. His personal webpage lists among the heroes that inspired him Douglas Engelbart, Alan Kay, Tim Berners-Lee and Steve Jobs.

But Lynch is perhaps best known for his public tussle with Jobs in 2010 over Apple's decision not to support Adobe Flash on the iPhone and iPad. Lynch made several videos during that period that he probably now regrets, but they give you a rare chance to see an Apple vice president close up.

Star or bozo? Judge for yourself:

From AllThingsD: Lynch defending Flash

From AllThingsD: Lynch defending Creative Suite 5

From YouTube: Lynch running over an iPhone with a steamroller

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for

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