Ex-Microsoft exec to head Macromedia mobile unit

Juha Christensen named president of unit focused on expanding use of Macromedia's Flash

Juha Christensen resigned as Microsoft Corp. corporate vice president of mobile devices in November to join a startup but has instead signed on with Macromedia Inc.

Christensen has been named president of Macromedia's mobile and devices business unit, Macromedia, in San Francisco, said in a statement Tuesday. The mobile and devices unit is primarily focused on expanding use of Macromedia's Flash format by mobile phone makers and providers of content for mobile use, according to the statement.

Christensen left Microsoft to join a startup company, Microsoft said in November. However, he was so impressed with Macromedia and the potential for Macromedia technology to "light up next-generation mobile devices" with services and applications that he joined that company, according to a quote attributed to Christensen in the Macromedia statement.

Flash is used widely to animate Web pages and improve Web navigation, but Macromedia is pushing Flash elsewhere, including on mobile phones and PDAs (personal digital assistants). Several handsets offered by NTT DoCoMo Inc. in Japan support Flash, and so do Sony Corp. PDAs, according to Macromedia.

Before joining Microsoft in 2000, Christensen co-founded Symbian Ltd., a venture owned by Nokia Corp., Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. (Panasonic), Siemens AG, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB and Psion PLC. Symbian makes a mobile phone operating system with the same name.

Prior to starting Symbian, Christensen was vice president of licensing at Psion, where he helped bring to market some of the world's first PDAs, Macromedia said.

Copyright © 2004 IDG Communications, Inc.

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