Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen has revealed the strategy behind his company's adoption of Macromedia, and described his relationship with Apple as "like a marriage where you're in it for the kids".
Regarding Apple, Chizen told the San Francisco Chronicle: "It's taken a long time to figure it out. We have customers that we both care about, and they're the same customers. We both know we have to do what's right by them, the same way that people know you have to do this in the best interest of their children. Except in this case, the kids are never going to grow up".
Chizen's also revealed details of his relationship with Apple CEO Steve Jobs, claiming: "I have a very good relationship with Steve. It's very open and very direct. There have been Saturdays and Sundays where we've had very active conversations about a variety of topics."
Chizen explained his company's motives for the acquisition of Macromedia. "They complement what we do very well," he said, "we get to take Flash and the Flash Player with PDF Reader and deliver an industry-defining technology platform."
Hinting at what the future may hold, he said: "We have leading-edge video authoring, editing and composition tools. They have the Flash Player, which now does video. You can imagine us optimizing our tools for their video players."
Chizen is positive about the future for the now combined companies. He defended the reaction of investors to the acquisition, saying: "The Street doesn't like mergers and acquisitions, so their first reaction is to bail out. Over time, our stock price should reflect the real value of the combined companies."
The Adobe CEO goes on to talk about an issue that is close to his heart – the problem with the theft of intellectual property in developing countries, like China and India, and discussing whether it is possible to educate against such crime, he admits "I'm not as optimistic about our ability to have an impact, at least in the short term."
"It's going to take time for those countries to develop, to have their own software industry, to begin to cut back on the theft of intellectual property," he explains.
Regarding his relationship with Microsoft, Chizen indicates that there are few places where the two companies compete aggressively. But this does not mean he will rest on his laurels.
In particular he highlights Microsoft's attempts to compete against PDF. "The next version of Microsoft's operating system, at least according to what Microsoft has said publicly, has features that use dynamic document-like activities similar to PDF. With that said, the fact that PDF is so embedded in society, we believe it's really going to be hard for them to displace us."
But, he explains: "They are a $40 billion software company, and whether they choose to compete with us directly or indirectly, they will always be a potential threat for Adobe, because it's a $40 billion software company and they want to keep growing in the software business. And there's the possibility that we could - if we aren't smart - be collateral damage to whatever they decide to do."