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Adobe InDesign product manager resigns, job sent to India

  • Published on November 5, 2014
Adobe InDesign product manager resigns, job sent to India

This week Adobe InDesign lost its product manager who had been guiding the digital design tool for the past 6 years, first as the InDesign Server product manager, then as the product manager for the InDesign product family. Having worked at Adobe for more than a decade, Chris Kitchener brought to the role of InDesign Product Manager a unique understanding of the needs of publishers and designers. As you might expect, over this time he has come to understand more than just what makes InDesign work, but also how customers use it, where it excels, and where there are opportunities for it to grow and expand. Adobe has replaced his 13 years of experience at Adobe, and 6 years of experience running InDesign products with someone that joined the company less than a year ago.

You might expect that a new product manager must have some stellar publishing qualifications now that he is running the product management for the premier digital design tool. InDesign is used by publications ranging from the Boston Globe to Sports Illustrated and National Geographic, as well as throughout corporate marketing and design departments. The new product manager came to Adobe from his most recent job of driving monetization of the game Mafia Wars for digital game maker Zynga. Less than one year ago the Adobe InDesign product manager was working to find ways to make more money from a video game - not to mention one that is not safe for work or family play. Adobe has deep roots in creating design tools used for publishing. Nearly two decades ago they acquired PageMaker, the predecessor to both InDesign and its competitor, QuarkXPress. They built-up Adobe Illustrator, and acquired and perfected Photoshop. With all these tools came a deep bench of experience. That experience has either left Adobe or it has been passed over as Adobe has shifted the InDesign product management role from the U.S. to overseas, and has decided to place someone in charge of the product who has no experience working in design or publishing.

This move by Adobe may be a signal to publishers who use InDesign that Adobe is only interested in keeping it alive long enough to generate additional revenue while investing as little as possible. The are saving short-term costs by moving product management along with research and development overseas, and shifting product management to a person who has no background with the customers the product serves. If Adobe was interested in publishing innovation, the product management role would have remained in the U.S. where they could work closely with the book, magazine, and newspaper publishers in New York City and with digital publishers in the Bay area. With the loss of such an experienced product manager, the future of InDesign's innovation and ability to respond to customer's needs becomes a concern. Regardless of the direction the product takes, American Graphics Institute will continue to offer both public and private Adobe InDesign classes and training at its locations in New York City, Boston, and Philadelphia, as well as on-site at client locations. While the InDesign product manager may be new to working with InDesign, American Graphics Institute's instructors are highly skilled and have more than a decade of experience using InDesign and delivering InDesign training to professional publishers.

About the author

Christopher Smith is president of American Graphics Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the publisher and editor of the Digital Classroom book series, which have sold more than one million copies. At American Graphics Institute, he provides strategic technology consulting to marketing professionals, publishers and to large technology companies including Google, Apple, Microsoft, and HP. An expert on web analytics and digital marketing, he delivers Google Analytics training along with workshops on digital marketing topics. He is also the author of more than 10 books on electronic publishing tools and technologies, including the Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies. Christopher did his undergraduate studies the at the University of Minnesota, and then worked for Quark, Inc. prior to joining American Graphics Institute where he has worked for 20 years.