Charles M. “Chuck” Geschke, a Los Altos resident who co-founded Adobe Systems Inc. and later was kidnapped for four days until he was freed by the FBI, died on Friday April 16 2021 at age 81.
Dr. Geschke was a founder of Adobe and has served as our Chairman of the Board since September 1997, sharing that office with John E. Warnock. He was Chief Operating Officer from December 1986 until July 1994 and President from April 1989 until his retirement in April 2000.
Geschke joined Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in the early 1970s as a research scientist in their Computer Sciences Laboratory where he worked on programming language design and machine architecture, including the "Mesa" language which was the basis for the Xerox Star workstation.
In 1978, Geschke formed the Imaging Sciences Laboratory at PARC where he directed research activities in the fields of computer science, graphics, image processing,
Geschke holds an A.B. in classics (1962), an M.S. (1963) in mathematics - both from Xavier University - and a doctorate (1972) in computer science from Carnegie-Mellon University.
In 1992, Geschke was kidnapped at gunpoint from the Adobe parking lot in Mountain View by two men as he arrived for work. He was freed when a man caught with $650,000 in ransom money led authorities to a bungalow hideout in Hollister, the New York Times reported. The two kidnappers, Mouhannad Albukhari, 26, of San Jose, and Jack Sayeh, 25, of Campbell, were eventually sentenced to life terms in state prison.
Geschke is survived by his wife Nancy (“Nan”) Geschke and his three children.