Shantanu Narayen

Jeff Bottari—Invision for Adobe/AP Images
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The maker of creativity tools like Photoshop doesn’t quite grab headlines like some of its Silicon Valley neighbors. But Adobe is playing the long game—and so is Shantanu Narayen. In November the CEO celebrated his 11th anniversary at the helm, a tenure that’s increasing rare in corporate America. One glance at Adobe’s stock price—which this year gained 57% to peak at about $275—reveals why. Narayen’s move to turn boxed software into cloud services gave the San Jose company a subscription business that keeps on giving. And his recent rash of marketing-tech acquisitions—$1.68 billion for Magento, $4.75 billion for Marketo—signals he’s not afraid to compete with Salesforce and Oracle. A quiet giant? Not anymore.