In July of 2012, I entered the San Jose, California, headquarters of Adobe for the first time. That was a crazy period for me. I was general counsel at a company supporting its ramp toward an IPO. At the same time, I had received calls about opportunities with three other companies. What’s that saying about when it rains?
To be candid, while the chance to be part of Adobe’s transformation to a SaaS and subscription business was intriguing, I was on the fence about the opportunity. The other positions included a role of much greater scale and one that was very early stage. And, of course, there was the potential for an IPO with my then current company.
A woman greeted me in the front lobby when I signed in. She politely introduced herself as Antoinette Pedroza, the assistant to the executive I would be meeting, who she explained, was running 20 minutes late. After getting me situated in a conference room and offering me a cup of coffee, she was about to leave when I asked her how long she had worked at Adobe. “Almost ten years”, she answered with an obvious touch of pride. I replied that it isn’t often that you find employees in Silicon Valley who have worked with a single company for over a decade. She smiled and then spent the next twenty minutes describing the company’s culture, values and people. When she left, I thought, “This is where I want to work.”
Now six years later, Adobe has become the coda of my legal career and it’s time for me to pursue “what’s next”. My time at Adobe was filled with professional challenges reflective of working for Silicon Valley companies at the forefront of dynamic innovation. But more than that, it was a chance to work with genuinely good people—people of integrity, intelligence, insight, and passion. (And ones who indulge my use of a Halloween photo for my corporate badge.)
When I began writing this post, I imagined acknowledging the many individuals who have impacted my career and life beginning with my first position at Sun Microsystems to now, at Adobe. However, reflective of the length of my career, this would be a very, very, long list. So, to all of you from executives to board members, to the legal and government relations teams, to the sales and marketing people, the technical talent, the members of the finance, human resource and IT organizations, outside counsel and to Antoinette (who recently celebrated her 15th anniversary at Adobe), let me just say thank you. It has been one hell of a ride, made more so by your support along the journey.