Adobe to buy work management platform Workfront for $1.5bn

10 Nov 2020

Image: © Mat Hayward/

With this acquisition, Adobe will expand its offerings to include workflow management for digital content creators.

Adobe has entered a definitive agreement to acquire Workfront for $1.5bn in an acquisition expected to close during the first quarter of Adobe’s 2021 fiscal year.

Workfront, a work management platform for marketers, enables users to plan and track marketing campaigns, and execute complex workflows across teams.

Workfront lays claim to more than 3,000 customers and 1m users. Adobe has long partnered with the platform, which integrates to Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Experience Cloud, and the companies share more than 1,000 clients including Deloitte, Under Armour, Prudential Financial and T-Mobile.

This move brings operations managers into the fold of Adobe, whose products already service creative professionals and marketers. With the acquisition, Adobe intends to add Workfront to the Adobe Experience Cloud.

“The combination of Adobe and Workfront will further accelerate Adobe’s leadership in customer experience management, providing a pioneering solution that spans the entire lifecycle of digital experiences, from ideation to activation,” said Anil Chakravarthy, executive vice-president and general manager of the digital experience business at Adobe.

‘Adobe and Workfront share a common affinity to help the modern marketer thrive in an ever-evolving, increasingly demanding setting’

In a blog post, Chakravarthy put the acquisition in the context of increasingly dispersed workforces challenged with delivering digital content at scale and speed, as well as a growing drive for personalised digital experiences.

“Workfront’s platform is agile and uniquely architected for the enterprise, with extensive integration capabilities that can be easily configured to meet the varied needs of companies of all sizes,” he wrote.

Workfront CEO Alex Shootman will continue to lead the Workfront team, reporting to Chakravarthy.

“Adobe and Workfront share a common affinity to help the modern marketer thrive in an ever-evolving, increasingly demanding setting. We’re excited to join Adobe and believe this will be a tremendous opportunity for our customers and partners,” he said.

This summer, Adobe reported a record rise in revenue amid the “tectonic shift to ‘all things digital’” during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, according to president and CEO Shantanu Narayen. Although the company had previously been uncertain about the impact of Covid-19 as product and services revenue fell, subscription revenue from the company’s software products rose to $2.8bn.

Last month, Adobe teamed up with Sky to launch a digital programme for primary and secondary schools across Ireland and the UK. School students who take part will produce and broadcast their own news reports on the climate emergency “from script to screen”. They will use creative video tools from Adobe, including Adobe Spark Video and Adobe Premiere Rush, as well as content from Sky to develop the reports, which will be entered into a competition.

The aim of the initiative is to provide 30,000 young people with media and digital literacy skills. It will also aim to bring more diversity into newsrooms and equip students from low-income areas with digital skills for the future.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.