What’s cool about Wharton is that I was one of a lucky 30 MBAs chosen to attend a dinner with Adobe’s CEO Bruce Chizen last week. Well, I wasn’t that special, I just won my first lottery that’s part of the Leadership Lecture series at Wharton. The students who coordinate this bring top leaders from the country and overseas to speak on a variety of issues, and also about their leadership. Afterwards, lucky 30 or so get to dine at the Inn at Penn with the person. Selections are random and also, you only have 1 opportunity in your two years at Wharton to attend one of these diners. I was lucky enough to drop my name for the first time and win. Yey!
Bruce spoke with his partly recognizable Brooklyn accent on Adobe’s turnaround since the late 90s and now Adobe’s main push in the enterprise space with their Intelligent Document Business Unit. I’m a long-running Photoshop user and I was quite excited to learn a few things about how they approach the education market, government businesses and especially the enterprise space with the Adobe Policy Server since I worked on a competitive product at Microsoft this past summer. What stood out is the effort that Adobe takes to avoid getting in Microsoft’s path. They are literally obsessed at making sure that Microsoft is ignoring them, but not too much, because they are partners afterall.
Bruce earler told of a very interesting story how he got to Wharton that day: he was stuck on the 41st floor in the elevator of a hotel in Manhattan. He had to climb out of the escape hatch and onto the next elevator to escape after a 2-hour ordeal. Wow…the road to Wharton is treacherous for CEOs. I usually thought it’s the other way around…whew!
I’ll post more on this on the Wharton Tech blog soon,