John Murphy
Gloria Chen

Senior Vice President of Strategy and Chief of Staff

 

Gloria Chen may be one of Adobe’s best kept secrets. In her 20 years here, she’s worked behind the scenes to usher the company through some of its boldest, most critical changes, from shaping its ecommerce strategy to breaking into the enterprise business and spearheading significant acquisitions and integrations. Gloria is known for her inquisitive, thoughtful leadership style and her ability to influence cross-functional teams.
 
As senior vice president of strategy and chief of staff, Gloria heads corporate strategy, mergers and acquisitions and strategic partnerships, all while working closely with CEO Shantanu Narayen and the leadership team to design Adobe’s growth agenda and keep operations humming. 

Gloria hasn’t always been on the business track, though; she started her career as a software engineer. While she enjoyed the intellectual challenge of technical problem-solving, she was equally curious about what makes organisations tick. Never one to shy away from change, she left her job for business school and, following graduation, launched a career in consulting at McKinsey & Company. She then joined Adobe, where, over the years, she’s made her mark in product management, sales operations, customer service and support and strategic planning. 

Gloria holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Washington, a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering (ECE) from Carnegie Mellon and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Although she left her days of coding behind, she continues to support the next generation of tech leaders by serving on the board of the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose and the ECE Alumni Advisory Council at Carnegie Mellon, as well as mentoring up-and-coming talent. 

The consummate student, if Gloria wasn’t heading up strategy for Adobe, she’d be going back to school to pursue a degree in the humanities. 


 

Finding Your Path

“Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.” Gloria cited this quote from Martin Luther King Jr. as she opened the 2016 commencement address at the University of Washington’s (UW) Electrical Engineering graduation. During her speech, she shared some of her deep ties to UW, anecdotes from her career journey and advice.

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