When People Leave, will they Go Back?

We are seeing more data center executive movement than at any other time.  Well at least the press is writing about the movement of Yahoo and Microsoft data center executives.

News.com just posted about Adobe reclaiming Photoshop guru Mark Hamburg.

Adobe reclaims design guru from Microsoft

by Stephen Shankland

A high-powered programmer who'd left Adobe Systems to lead a Microsoft Windows interface design team is heading back after just over a year.

Mark Hamburg had worked on Adobe Photoshop since version 2.0 in 1990 and then was instrumental in designing its photography-specific cousin, Lightroom, which sports a radically different user interface.

Hamburg left Adobe for Microsoft in 2008 to become a "distinguished engineer" leading work on improving operating system usability. He called the job an opportunity that "was a little too interesting to turn down" because he found the Windows' experience "really annoying."

This post caught my eye as I know at least half a dozen photoshop engineers from when I worked with them building on Windows platforms. And, when Mark Hamburg switched to Microsoft I dropped by to see what he thought of joining Microsoft.

Well, I guess he didn’t like it that much as he is back to Adobe in a year.

As data center executives move, I am waiting to hear when they go back.  The industry is much too small with few expertise to not expect this.

Don’t get me started on the series of mishaps in Microsoft to create a Photoshop competitor. A good friend of mine who worked for me at Microsoft and is ex-Adobe as well was Hamburg’s boss’s boss. We worked on RAW image formats in 2001 and tried to convince Microsoft the future of imaging required RAW image support.  People thought we were crazy.  After Lightroom and Aperture have market share, and Photoshop supports RAW, Microsoft marketing realizes the RAW image market is gaining market share.

This same friend went back to Adobe after Microsoft.  But, now he is at Google.