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40_Bruce Chizen

2005 FAST 50 WINNER

Bruce Chizen, 49

CEO and president
Adobe Systems Inc.
San Jose, California

“I was way out of my comfort zone,” says Bruce Chizen. “I didn’t know if I was making the right decisions. I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I doubted myself every night.” That was then, in 1998, when Chizen took a greater leadership role in what was a highly troubled company from its legendary cofounders. Chizen, who officially became CEO in 2000, obviously made the right moves, from a major reorganization to a greater focus on customers. He engineered the turnaround without destroying Adobe’s unique people-friendly culture, no less. In 2004, Chizen successfully reinvented the company that made desktop publishing possible by moving into the enterprise server business to help customers send more-reliable documents through email. The result: In fiscal 2004, Adobe’s net income jumped 69% to $450 million on revenue that grew 29% to $1.7 billion, a record for the company. Chizen is now in his comfort zone.

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