OSA | Living History

John E. Warnock

OSA Awards & Distinctions

John E. Warnock co-founded Adobe in 1982 with Dr. Charles Geschke. He was president of Adobe for the company’s first two years and CEO for the next 16 years. Warnock retired as CEO in 2000 and as the company’s CTO in 2001. He served as chairman of the board from April 1989 to January 2017, sharing that position with Geschke from September 1997 onwards. Today, he remains a member of Adobe’s board of directors.

Before co-founding Adobe, Warnock was a principal scientist at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. Prior to joining Xerox, he held key positions at Evans & Sutherland Computer Corporation, Computer Sciences Corporation, IBM, and the University of Utah.

Among many awards, Warnock, along with Geschke, was the recipient of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, one of the nation’s highest honors bestowed on scientists, engineers, and inventors. Warnock holds a doctorate in electrical engineering (computer science), a master’s degree in mathematics and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and philosophy from the University of Utah. He was also awarded an honorary degree in science from the University of Utah. In 2000, he received the Edwin H. Land Medal “for his significant contributions to the advancement of image processing via software and his personification of the spirit of Edwin H. Land.”

Document Created: 19 Feb 2020
Last Updated: 19 Feb 2020