RealTime IT News

Two Apple Execs Call it Quits

As Apple gears up to celebrate its 30-year anniversary, two of the executives who worked on projects tied to the company's recent success are leaving.

Avadis "Avie" Tevanian, Apple's chief software technology officer and the programmer credited with creating the core of Mac OS X, is leaving the company on March 31, Apple confirmed on Monday.

Jon Rubinstein, senior vice president of the iPod Division, announced last October that he'd be leaving Apple on the same day.

Avadis "Avie" Tevanian
Source: www.ilmac.net

Apple celebrates its 30th anniversary on April 1, marking the day that Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak filed partnership papers with a plan to build and sell personal computers. Their original offering was a build-it-yourself computer kit, followed by the Apple II microcomputer in 1977.

Tevanian joined Apple in 1997 as senior vice president of software engineering. Prior to that he was vice president of engineering at NeXT, a computer company that Apple CEO Steve Jobs founded between his two stints at Apple.

Tevanian started his career at Carnegie Mellon University, where he was the principal designer and engineer of the Mach Kernel, which then served as the basis for the NEXTSTEP operating system, which ultimately led to the development of Mac OS X.

His presumably final work for Apple may be unveiled in August when Apple is slated to release the next version of its operating system, dubbed Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.

An Apple spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

Tevanian's tenure at Apple was not without controversy.

Jon Rubinstein
Jon Rubinstein
Source: Apple

According to John Gruber, who writes Mac blog Daring Fireball, "Tevanian's legacy is marred by Mac OS X's usability flaws, most of which are attributable to Tevanian's nearly unyielding obsession with promoting old Next technology over old Apple technology. His technical acumen may be undisputed, but neither is his tin ear for usability."

Tevanian is also remembered by some Mac geeks as the author of the infamous "Technical Note #2034," which detailed Mac OS X programming guidelines. The guidelines in this document were deemed absurd by some developers, and Apple withdrew it.

Jon Rubinstein, who is planning to retire, will be succeeded by Tony Fadell.

"I've worked with Jon for over 15 years, and we're going to miss him. Jon has done an excellent job as a member of Apple's senior management team, as well as building our world-class iPod engineering team and running our hardware engineering team prior to that," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO, in a statement.

"Tony has been doing a superb job running a large part of the iPod engineering team, and we're expecting a very smooth transition."

Apple hasn't announced Tevanian's replacement yet.

"This is a big loss for Apple because he was at the center of developing OS X and managing the upgrades and, in some ways, he was the heart of Apple's software prowess," said Tim Bajarin, principal analyst at Creative Strategies.

"However, he has an incredible team behind him, and he always seemed to be grooming them to design and manage Apple's software futures. So while it is a loss for Apple, the team is more then capable of delivering more innovative software in the future."