When Anil Chakravarthy joined Adobe in January 2020, his job as head of the Digital Experience business was to help customers modernize and take advantage of the cloud. He also had to gear up quickly for Adobe Summit, the company’s annual customer event that was set to start in March in Las Vegas.
Covid-19 changed his plans entirely. Chakravarthy, who had spent the previous six years as CEO of Informatica, canceled all travel and started working from his living room sofa. He spent so much time on video meetings from there that co-workers turned his couch into a meme.
Chakravarthy also missed his chance to meet Tom Brady, who was scheduled to be a guest speaker at the Las Vegas summit. Like its tech peers, Adobe converted its conference into a virtual event.
Despite all the disruption, revenue in the Digital Experience division, which includes products for marketing, analytics and e-commerce, climbed 12% last year. And in the first quarter, sales increased 24% to $934 million, accounting for close to a quarter of the company’s total revenue. It’s the company’s second-biggest business, behind digital media, which includes the Acrobat family of products.
Over a year into his new gig, Chakravarthy is now preparing for the virtual 2021 summit next week. He’s also getting ready for an eventual return to the office and a chance to meet many more of the company’s 23,000 worldwide employees in person.
Chakravarthy sat down with CNBC via video from his home in Silicon Valley to talk…