As a 1980s kid growing up in Centerville, Brad Rencher was addicted to a game on his family's Apple II plus that simulated an Olympic Decathlon. "The runner was a bracket with a hyphen attached to it, and you made him go around this oval track," Rencher recalls. "And I was like, 'This is awesome.'"
The addiction to the crude computer game led to a life-long passion for technology. Now, as senior vice president and general manager for Adobe, Rencher works for a company developing technology that's a quantum leap from the video game featuring runner Bruce Jenner. The company is known for developing image and video editing programs like Photoshop and Premiere Pro, which was used to edit 2013 Sundance Film Festival films C.O.G. and We Are What We Are—a far cry from a bracket with a hyphen attached to it.
Rencher runs the digital marketing side of the company, helping clients promote their businesses online. He's the only person younger than 40 who reports directly to Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen. Rencher oversees about 1,000 employees at Adobe's $107 million, LEED Gold facility in Lehi. The facility crosses over a street and includes a basketball court, gym and a PC gaming room nicknamed "The Dungeon." But Rencher's seldom around to enjoy it.
"I'm on the road quite often, going from London to Singapore to Australia to Japan," he says. "And the headquarters for Adobe is in San Jose, Calif., so I'm back and forth from there quite a bit."
A graduate of Viewmont High School in Bountiful and, in 1997, Brigham Young University with a degree in business, Rencher started his career in investment banking. Six years later, he went to the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University for his MBA and soon worked for Morgan Stanley, the financial services company.
He fulfilled his passion for technology when he returned to Utah to work for web analytics company, Omniture. "My move back to Utah wasn't really about missing home," he says. "It was a great opportunity, which has turned into another great opportunity." Adobe acquired Omniture in 2009, and Rencher moved into his executive position.
Rencher says Omniture had a "Why not us?" attitude, which he brought to Adobe. "We compete with some of the biggest companies in the world that have 10 times the revenue and employees, but the reason I think Adobe will win is the people and the culture of 'Why not us?' Someone's going to do it, and we're just as capable as anyone else."
When it comes to technology, Rencher is still as excited as he was discovering new worlds with an Apple II Plus.
"It's something I love," says Rencher, who is on the Utah Technology Council. "Somebody somewhere is going to develop something today that is going to change the world, and if I can play a small part in that, and hopefully be lucky enough to be part of it, that's enough to motivate me."