Written By Chana Schoenberger
Stephen Elop’s first act as chief executive of software company Macromedia was to put himself out of the top job.
Elop, 41, took over as chief in January. Within weeks, he was talking to rival Adobe Systems (nasdaq: ADBE – news – people ) about a $3.4 billion merger, which the two companies announced in April and hope to close this fall. He will hold one of two president’s titles in the combined company, to be called Adobe, and be responsible for the sales force, a job he used to hold at Macromedia (nasdaq: MACR – news – people ). But he’ll report to Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen.
Despite his enthusiasm for the merger, Elop admits to some early misgivings about giving up his first CEO role. “I thought, ‘Hold on, I just became CEO, how do I feel about this?’” he recalls. “But when you think about building a company together that has the opportunity to fundamentally redefine what’s going on in the software industry, I think it’s fantastic.”
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