Adobe Co-Chairman Chuck Geschke Speaks With Students

by Gene Thomas

Adobe Co-Chairman Chuck Geschke Speaks With Students
Dr. Chuck Geschke, the Co-Chairman of Adobe and the Rev. P. Carlo Rossi, SJ Chair of Entrepreneurship at the USF School of Management has recently completed a series of visits to our classes and student events.  

These included: a visit with Prof. Ryan Wright’s Internet Business class, and a smaller scale meeting with a group of Prof. Mark Cannice’s 2nd year MBA’s along with several computer science students from the School of Arts and Sciences.  

Most recently, Chuck was the official guest and keynote speaker for the first official, San Francisco gathering of the latest class of our Joint Masters In Global Entrepreneurship and Management program — a luncheon to welcome the jMGEM students as they began the USF portion of their one year, world-wide academic study.

Adobe Co-Chairman Chuck Geschke Speaks With Students

Professor John O’Meara, Director of Strategic Initiatives, sent a thank you to Dr. Geshcke, along with a number of comments from students who attended the first gathering.  We include an excerpt and the comments below. 

Dear Dr. Geschke,

Thank you for making time to meet with our students this past month.  We thought you’d be interested in hearing some feed back as speakers sometimes don’t realize the impact they have on our students. 

Following your visits, here’s what the students had to say …


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The discussion with Dr. Geschke was enlightening. I found it really interesting how he described the three characterizations of engineers at Adobe. I like how each class of engineers are separate and one group cannot change what the other group is doing. This drives performance and innovation and I'd like to thank Dr. Geschke for sharing this information with us. I'm curious as to where he thinks Adobe will be in the next 10 years in terms of market position … Stephanie

I thought the discussion was informative and inspiring. I felt the stories that explained the back-story of Adobe and computers in general and how they linked to an important business lesson learned were the most informative. I would have also liked to have heard more of his thoughts on what he thinks we as the new generation of business leaders need to do to fix some of the problems we face as a country today … Sean

I thoroughly enjoyed when Dr. Geschke spoke about the early days of Xerox and Adobe. The products that those people were producing was like nothing the world had ever seen...astonishing … Grant

What a great opportunity to hear a founder of such a ground breaking software company speak!
A few things that struck me:
1) Can't be a one-product company
2) Give your employees part ownership so they are tied into the company's success
3) Listen to the customer but not too much - bc you get trapped in a niche market
4) I also found his analogy of the arrow shooter, scouts and road builders to be a great way to understand the importance of the different roles of successful managers … Sabeen

Great discussion.  Dr. Geschke comes off as "just another person" but clearly has superb business acumen and the track record to prove it.  I would have been interested to hear about things that he may have done differently (if anything) … Richard

Dr. Geschke may have been the most inspiring thing I've experienced in the program. I enjoyed the candid dialogue and his insights on how a business should run. The background information on where Adobe, and Dr. Geschke himself, came from was fascinating. It was interesting to hear about the course of his successes, yet to witness him speak so humbly of it. A huge lesson for me was the integrity that Dr. Geschke presented, and how he utilizes that in his business approach as well … Christine

Having Dr. Geschke speak with us was such a great opportunity that will not be forgotten. Its one thing to read up on publications on the internet, but his anecdotes and his behind the scenes account for the formation of Adobe Systems were truly inspiring and motivating. I really hope that future USF MBAs have the same opportunity to meet with him … Tim

Dr. Geschke's visit was great! I particularly enjoyed his emphasis on personal relationships and treating others in business as you would like to be treated. It is not often that you hear someone of his success and stature emphasize the importance of integrity and building relationships … Jill

Dr. Geschke's talk was fantastic.  I was very taken aback by how humble he was.  He was very informative.  The majority of speakers that I have seen while at USF spoke about how to better run or be a part of a business, but I felt like Dr. Geschke's focus was far more encompassing than this.  I'm not sure if I can put it into words but I definitely took away a lot more with Dr. Geschke's talk than any other talk that I have been a part of … Richard

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Chuck, as you can tell, our students were very appreciative of the opportunity to engage you and took away a great deal from these informal conversations.  If anything they’d happily have you return to continue the discussion.

I hope this summary provides a glimpse into the impact you had on our students.

John O’Meara
Director of Strategic Initiatives