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Avie Tevanian plans to depart from Apple

Avadis "Avie" Tevanian, Apple Computer's Chief Technology Officer, is leaving the company to "pursue other interests," Apple confirmed to the San Francisco Chronicle on Monday.

Although the Cupertino, Calif.-based company would not reveal the motives behind Tevanian's decision, Vice President of Worldwide Corporate Communications Katie Cotton told the publication in an e-mail that, "He plans to take some time off in the interim. He hasn't left yet, though. His last official day is March 31."

Tevanian, who is considered an operating systems whiz, began his career at Carnegie Mellon University, where he was instrumental in the development of the Mach kernel. There he met Steve Jobs, who showed a divine interest in his skills and Mach.

After completing his Ph.D. program in only 4.5 years — a very short time for the CMU Computer Science Ph.D. program — he joined Jobs at NeXT, using his knowledge of the Mach kernel to form the foundation of the NEXTSTEP operating system (which later evolved into Mac OS X).

In 1997, he followed Jobs to Apple as part of the company's acquisition of NeXT and immediately went to work on developing Apple's Mac OS X operating system, for which he is largely considered the grandfather.

Unfortunately for Apple, Tevanian won't be the only senior executive to wave goodbye to the company at the end of the month. Jon Rubinstein, Senior Vice President iPod Division, is also slated to turn in his badge on the last day of the month.

Largely considered a genius by his colleagues, Rubinstein in his days at the company has presided over all aspects of hardware engineering, including Mac systems. He will be succeeded in his current role by Tony Fadell, who will report directly to Jobs. Unlike Tevanian, Rubinstein plans to retire.

It's unclear who will replace Tevanian as the company's chief of technology. His last contributions to the company will turn up this summer, when Apple unveils the next major release of its Mac OS X operating system in August — Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.