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Nov 122007

Adobe, better known as the maker of the Photoshop graphics software, the Acrobat reader and Flash browser plug-in, has named Shantanu Narayen its new CEO effective December 1.


A eight-year veteran of Adobe, Narayen is currently president and COO of the San jose, California software vendor. As COO, Narayen is currently responsible for day-to-day global operations, oversees product R&D, corporate strategy and investments as well as corporate and product marketing.

Narayen will succeed Bruce Chizen, who will serve the remainder of his term on Adobe’s Board of Directors through the Spring of 2008 and continue in a strategic advisory capacity through the end of fiscal year 2008.

Before joining adobe, Narayen co-founded a digital photo sharing software firm Pictra Inc and earlier to that worked at Silicon Graphics and Apple.

Narayen holds a bachelor’s degree in electronics engineering from Osmania University (Hyderabad), MS in computer sciernce from Bowling Green State University and MBA from the Haas School, UC Berkeley.

Nov 122007

Continuing its string of software acquisitions, IBM is acquiring business intelligence software firm Cognos for $4.9 billion in an all cash transaction.

Cognos’ products are said to be complementary to IBM’s database and middleware components.

The deal values Cognos at $58 per share, 9.5% higher than its closing price on Friday.

IBM executives said that as of the last quarter, Cognos’ trailing twelve month revenue was about $1 billion.

Cognos has 4,000 employees worldwide and 25,000 customers.  

The deal is expected to close in Q1 of next year.

Nov 122007

Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan’s reincarnation-based film Om Shanti Om handily beat Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Saawariya featuring debutantes Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor at the U.S. box office for the November 9-11 opening weekend.

According to U.S. box office numbers, Om Shanti Om came in at a respectable No-11 with a weekend gross collection of $1.76 million. Eros Entertainment distributed Om Shanti Om.

Based on Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novella White Nights, Saawariya was way behind at No-24 and a weekend gross of $542,192. Saawariya was produced and distributed by Sony Pictures.

Om Shanti Om was released in 114 theaters in the U.S. compared to 85 for Saawariya.

For Shahrukh Khan, the performance of Om Shanti Om at the U.S. box office during its opening weekend must come as welcome relief since his previous film Chak De India fared badly in its opening weekend (August 10-12, 2007) coming in at No-20 and grossing only $351,887.

Om Shanti Om also did a bit better than Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, which came in at No-17 and grossed $1.35 million in its opening weekend (Aug 11-13, 2006).

We thought Saawariya was the better picture but the people have spoken with their wallets at the box office. And their verdict was clear – more desis in the U.S. preferred to watch Om Shanti Om than Saawariya during the Diwali weekend.

Eros’ well-oiled publicity machine must have also helped Om Shanti Om to do well. Other Bollywood producers urgently need to pay attention to their PR machinery if they want their movies to do well at the box office.