July 25, 2006
Source: Daily Yomiuri
Written by Ayako Hirayama / Daily Yomiuri Staff Writer
After working in industries ranging from entertainment to semiconductors, Garrett Ilg has fulfilled a childhood dream–to become the president of a foreign company in Japan.
Ilg took up his post as president of Adobe Systems Co., the Japanese unit of U.S. software maker Adobe Systems Inc., earlier this year.
He says that when he was a teenager he watched his father manage a foreign business after he moved to Japan with his family in 1973.
“I dreamed when I was young to do something similar, to get an opportunity to build a career in Japan,” Ilg, 45, said. “It was kind of my first goal. My second was to be a senior executive and ultimately president of a foreign company in Japan. It’s kind of where I am right now.”
His current aim is to strengthen Adobe’s existing relationships with customers and partners while laying the foundations for future growth by expanding into new markets under a strategy called Adobe Engagement Platform.
The San Jose, Calif.-based firm launched the plan after acquiring rival company Macromedia, Inc. in December. By integrating Macromedia’s Flash, a multimedia authoring tool, into Adobe Acrobat products centered on the Portable Document Format (PDF), the company hopes to provide a better user experience.
Ilg said the Adobe-Macromedia merger could generate a “tremendous synergy” to increase the presence of both companies’ blue-chip technologies.
“I think most people are well aware of PDF and Acrobat–it’s ubiquitous in the market. If you write something and save it in the Acrobat format and send it to someone, they have a better chance of being able to read it. Acrobat is as widely used on the planet as almost any other software,” he said.
“The only software that is more widely available is Flash from Macromedia. So that acquisition’s given Adobe an additional ubiquity,” he added.
According to the company, the Adobe Reader is installed on about 525 million computers worldwide, while the Flash player is on nearly 98 percent of Internet-connected desktops.
The acquisition of Macromedia is also likely to boost Adobe’s already upbeat earnings. For 2005, Adobe reported record revenues of 1.99 billion dollars, up 18 percent from the previous year due to stronger sales of key products such as Adobe Creative Suite 2 and Adobe Acrobat 7.0, the company said.
For this year, Adobe has set a revenue target of about 2.7 billion dollars, including earnings from Macromedia products.
Adobe, which was established in 1982, has 54 overseas offices and more than half its revenue comes from outside the United States.
Japan accounts for about 20 percent of revenue, positioning itself as the second-largest country in these terms. It boasts advanced mobile devices and is likely to continue to be one of the strategic markets for Adobe as the company has increased efforts to push its products to mobiles.