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Avie Tevanian plans to depart from Apple

post #1 of 93
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Avie Tevanian to leave Apple, S.F. Chronicle reports
March 27, 2006 - Apple's software engineering chief of nearly a decade, Avadis "Avie" Tevanian, Jr., will leave the company at the end of March, the San Francisco Chronicle reported tonight on a blog on its Web site.
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Apple confirmed Tevanian's departure today, according to a post by Chronicle reporter Alan T. Saracevic on the newspaper's technology blog, The Tech Chronicles.

It is not immediately clear why Tevanian is departing. According to Apple, he will leave to "pursue other interests" the Chronicle said.

"He plans to take some time off in the interim," Vice President of Worldwide Corporate Communications Katie Cotton told the newspaper in an email. "He hasn't left yet, though. His last official day is March 31."

Tevanian came to Apple as senior vice president of Software Engineering in February 1997 after the company acquired NeXT. He was named chief software technology officer in 2003.

A Carnegie Mellon University Ph.D, Tevanian had a key role in developing the Mach kernel and then the NeXTSTEP operating system. At Apple, he was instrumental in the development of Mac OS X at Apple.

[Special notice to readers: Due to technical difficulties, any email that was sent to Think Secret on Monday, March 27 will need to be resent.]

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post #2 of 93
First things first... please don't cut and paste from other sites... and please don't just copy content without adding anything of import of your own. The first is rude, the second is lame.

That being said...


DUDE! WTF?
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post #3 of 93
It's about time. He probably has thought out some pretty good ideas over the years, and couldn't act on them either because he was all tied up doing stuff for Apple or because he didn't want to lose all ownership of the ideas.

From what I know, he has done nothing but good work. I'm sure he'll produce something worthwhile.
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post #4 of 93
This is major news..... Can Apple afford to lose him??
post #5 of 93
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.
post #6 of 93
Quote:
Originally posted by Targon
This is major news..... Can Apple afford to lose him??

It depends. The Mach kernel was a great idea and a valid contribution to computer science, but its limitations are widely viewed as one of the reasons MacOS X does so poorly on low-level UNIX benchmarks. If this is some sort of shift of low-level OS thinking at Apple, it's possible that it could mean good things for the company in some respects.

But in general, it will definitely be a loss for Apple-- losing smart people always is. But CMU has no dearth of other new graduates to think up the next great idea.
post #7 of 93
"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."

We have an August release date now?
post #8 of 93
Quote:
Originally posted by Matthew Yohe

We have an August release date now?

no, wwdc is in august. most major features will be revealed there, but the release of macos 10.5 should be at mwsf in january next year.

edit: typo
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post #9 of 93
Quote:
Originally posted by Kickaha

That being said...


DUDE! WTF? [/B]

You really think so?

Interesting!
post #10 of 93
With the problems Vista (aka Longwind) has been having I expect OSX 10.5 to come out in August. It will be followed by an advertising blitz the likes of which only the iPod has seen. Mark my words.
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post #11 of 93
- words marked -
post #12 of 93
Quote:
Originally posted by ShadowT77
- words marked -

lol:
Nice!
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..... the greatest fame comes from adding to human knowledge, not winning battles.
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post #13 of 93
Just so I'm clearÉ

MSFT can't deliver an operating system in six years and none of the senior management fsckwits responsible have either jumped or been pushed, despite the fact that the stock price has been stagnant for the best part of five years.

Avie Tevanian's team delivers 1 major OS platform and five significant revisions, plus God only knows how many patches, and he decides to leave and commune with nature or whatever rather than stick around to earn more stock options which will undoubtedly appreciate because of Apple's continuing commercial improvement.

If that isn't an example of the cosmic joke that is the Universe, I'd like to know what isÉ
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"There's no bigot like a religious bigot and there's no religion more fanatical than that espoused by Macintosh zealots." ~Martin Veitch, IT Week [31-01-2003]

"What's your point?" ~ Mark Solomon...
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post #14 of 93
Quote:
Originally posted by Targon
This is major news..... Can Apple afford to lose him??

No.

Good night sweet prince.
post #15 of 93
Quote:
Originally posted by anaknipedro
With the problems Vista (aka Longwind) has been having I expect OSX 10.5 to come out in August. It will be followed by an advertising blitz the likes of which only the iPod has seen. Mark my words.

Oh they damn well better advertise the crap out of OS X
post #16 of 93
we're straying a bit from the topic at hand, but i will lend my two-and-a-half cents on the os release/announcement... i think apple needs to drop the hammer on an os as well, since the consumer-level vista won't be ready yet. personally, part of me doesn't even WANT new features... just hammer the ones from panther and tiger into shape, have it intel-ready, and iron out all kinks and quirks of the finder (discussed AT LENGTH elsewhere), and you're good to go. really, tiger is "almost there," as far as i am concerned.
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Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight.
Gotta kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight.

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post #17 of 93
Quote:
Originally posted by Mark- Card Carrying FanaticRealist
Just so I'm clearÉ

MSFT can't deliver an operating system in six years and none of the senior management fsckwits responsible have either jumped or been pushed, despite the fact that the stock price has been stagnant for the best part of five years.

Avie Tevanian's team delivers 1 major OS platform and five significant revisions, plus God only knows how many patches, and he decides to leave and commune with nature or whatever rather than stick around to earn more stock options which will undoubtedly appreciate because of Apple's continuing commercial improvement.

If that isn't an example of the cosmic joke that is the Universe, I'd like to know what isÉ

Post of the week.
post #18 of 93
Don't forget either, "pursue other interests" could just be good PR for he's being asked to leave. I doubt that's the case unless he and Steve had a serious falling out over the direction of OS X. Is it the end of an era at Apple? No doubt ... but will it cause serious problems for the OS X development team ... I doubt it. Apple will find some other bright mind capable of handling the design and implementation of OS X to replace him and life will go on for both the company and we, the loyal users.

Edison devloped the light bulb, but it was those who came after him that improved on his design and theories that gave us longer lasting, more powerful bulbs, halogen bulbs, neon lights, etc.
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post #19 of 93
Maybe his Steveness wasn't happy with the Finder.
post #20 of 93
1) MS delaying their next OS.
2) MS emplyees complains over their bosses
3) Apple loses a major leader in their OS development team, stating he wants to pursue "other interests"

***whistles***
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post #21 of 93
First, the guy has been at this for almost 20 years.

Second, he had been removed from "day to day" management responsibility a while ago.

Third, possibly he and The Steve had differing opinions about the future.

Fourth, he's rich! He's cashed in over $100M in stock in the past 3-4 months alone. I'm thinking...I'm mid-forties (married? kids?), accomplished what I wanted to professionally, have (at least) $100M in the bank...my "other interests" would be something other than work for a while.
post #22 of 93
Quote:
Originally posted by Anders
1) MS delaying their next OS.
2) MS emplyees complains over their bosses
3) Apple loses a major leader in their OS development team, stating he wants to pursue "other interests"

***whistles***

If you are thinking what I think you are thinking...stop thinking it. Undoubtedly, he'll have a non-compete for some period of time 6-12 months I'd guess.
post #23 of 93
Quote:
Originally posted by AgNuke1707
Don't forget either, "pursue other interests" could just be good PR for he's being asked to leave. I doubt that's the case unless he and Steve had a serious falling out over the direction of OS X. Is it the end of an era at Apple? No doubt ... but will it cause serious problems for the OS X development team ... I doubt it. Apple will find some other bright mind capable of handling the design and implementation of OS X to replace him and life will go on for both the company and we, the loyal users.

Edison devloped the light bulb, but it was those who came after him that improved on his design and theories that gave us longer lasting, more powerful bulbs, halogen bulbs, neon lights, etc.

Somebody who leads a team of 350 people is not somebody who has much input on the code - the people at the bottom matter more than the people at the top.
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post #24 of 93
apple just seems to be losing people, are they gaining anyone yet?



what can apple possibly improve on besides finder for the next OS?


the only complaints i have with OSX is finder, thats it i think.
post #25 of 93
News Flash:

MS has purchased the right to license OSX.

Avie Tevanian has joined MS in the Windows group to develope a windows shell. In order to keep the look and feel that windows users have come to love a few bugs and hardware conflicts have been added.

post #26 of 93
Quote:
Originally posted by AgNuke1707
Don't forget either, "pursue other interests" could just be good PR for he's being asked to leave. I doubt that's the case unless he and Steve had a serious falling out over the direction of OS X. Is it the end of an era at Apple? No doubt ... but will it cause serious problems for the OS X development team ... I doubt it. Apple will find some other bright mind capable of handling the design and implementation of OS X to replace him and life will go on for both the company and we, the loyal users.

Edison devloped the light bulb, but it was those who came after him that improved on his design and theories that gave us longer lasting, more powerful bulbs, halogen bulbs, neon lights, etc.

Avie is Steve's right hand. He and him are very solid. The man's put in his time--nearly 20 years.

Bertrand will most certainly take his spot and yet the spot might be have a revised approach because Bertrand's areas of expertise are quite varied and he loves to keep his hands in the cookie jar to improve matters.

Avie was a phenomenal taskmaster. Read: he kept people on task and his will always prevailed thus garnering respect from Steve for always delivering products. This didn't always sit well with the less disciplined members in engineering but then again the taskmaster's job is to shape a direction and meet it.

Avie was a very conservative and matter-of-fact.

That daring fireball article is a joke. The biggest delay in OS X has been accommodating the Carbon/Classic cruft of the past. His "flamed" support note was a reflection of the dichotomy between the past and the future.

OS X will continue to gain in performance the less and less legacy crap is retained in the OS. And that legacy is the transition layer, Carbon.
post #27 of 93
Quote:
Originally posted by e1618978
Somebody who leads a team of 350 people is not somebody who has much input on the code

Maybe not, but you can bet he checks up on it aloing the way. And just because he doesn't spend his day coding, doesn't mean he can't or that he doesn't know what's going on under him. I bet Steve hasn't done any coding on Mac OS in a long time, but I'm pretty sure he takes a look at its development every now and then.

Steve: "Avie, we're going to add feature X to the next OS X upgrade. Get it done."
Avie: "Sure Boss"
Avie to Coding Group assigned to new feature X: "Guys, this is what we're going to do, this is how it needs to look, this it what it needs to be able to do"
Programmers: "All right ... <type, type, type>"
Avie upon examining compiled code: "Wow, this is great, it works fine" OR "Wow, this is shitty and slow, guys. Let me see the source..."

That's why he's there. He offers his input when its needed. He should expect it to be working when it finishes compiling and the programmers give it to him, but it's not what Steve wants or he comes up with some better idea then he might ask them to try something different.

Quote:
Originally posted by e1618978
the people at the bottom matter more than the people at the top.

Eh, as someone who's been on both ends of that rope as a peon and a supervisor (in construction, not programming, but they kinda work the same way...) they both matter equally. It's too much work for one person to do, so he has a team that (hopefully) is very good at its job and he trusts. He's been there before, knows how it should be done and expects is done a certain way. He comes back and checks up on the job, make ssure it's going according to schedule and plans then he comes back at the end, inspects the final product and *poof* you're done. He needs those under him to finish the job.

Other side of the coin - something happens in the build, unexpected compatibility problems, unexpected errors, differing of opinions - that's when supervisors are important. The interject their experiences, they make the call and they're ultimately responsible for the success or failure of the project.

Take football as an example: The quaterback can't throw the ball unless he has a line to block for him, but the line is pretty useless if they don't know what play the quaterback has called, and at the end of the game, people will usually blame the team's success or failure on the quaterback - not the line.
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post #28 of 93
Quote:
Originally posted by Robin Hood
Maybe his Steveness wasn't happy with the Finder.

*Post of the Month*
Hard-Core.
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Hard-Core.
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post #29 of 93
He's bad ass!

One of Apples great assets. He even gets along great with the man!!

That all being said, the past seven years have been a burner on folks. Steve himself was talking about the need to throttle development times back to something that could be considered half sane.

A well earned brake-and our loss!!!!




THANK YOU AVIE---Good Luck and Enjoy!!!

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post #30 of 93
Jon Rubenstein and Avie leaving March 31.
post #31 of 93
A March 31 resignation announced on March 28 just doesn't smell right.

Apple is aware of how Avie and Steve J. are viewed, particularly by the market. One would think they would announce such a departure months in advance and name a successor at the same time.

Such a speedy departure certainly looks like there was a "difference of opinion".

Either way, thanks Avie - your tireless work in keeping the Mac platform ahead of the curve will definitely go down in history.
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post #32 of 93
Quote:
Originally posted by mdriftmeyer

That daring fireball article is a joke. The biggest delay in OS X has been accommodating the Carbon/Classic cruft of the past. His "flamed" support note was a reflection of the dichotomy between the past and the future.

OS X will continue to gain in performance the less and less legacy crap is retained in the OS. And that legacy is the transition layer, Carbon.

This is pure fantasy. Carbon is faster than Cocoa, and neither have anything to do with how slow the core of MacOS X is as a UNIX (which is pretty darn slow). The only legacy code in MacOS X is the Classic environment and that is optional anyway.

At this point MacOS X can only gain in performance through honest-to-goodness new research and development on locking mechanisms, thread/process spawning, I/O buffer sharing, and other low-level OS mechanics. These are features that already exist in most of the other major OSes. In other areas, they're ahead, such as VM paging, but those areas aren't common. They are going to need a new Avie.
post #33 of 93
NEVER be caught in an elevator with Steve.
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post #34 of 93
Quote:
Originally posted by Frank777
A March 31 resignation announced on March 28 just doesn't smell right.

Apple is aware of how Avie and Steve J. are viewed, particularly by the market. One would think they would announce such a departure months in advance and name a successor at the same time.

Such a speedy departure certainly looks like there was a "difference of opinion".

Could be just that it was publicly "discovered" this week and someone asked Apple and they confirmed.

Don't know.

I would have expected a more public announcement further back. But perhaps they chose not to for some other reason.

Could be the more sinister possibility too.
post #35 of 93
Maybe .........

APPLE IS DOOMED!

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post #36 of 93
Quote:
Originally posted by mdriftmeyer
Avie is Steve's right hand. He and him are very solid. The man's put in his time--nearly 20 years.

Bertrand will most certainly take his spot and yet the spot might be have a revised approach because Bertrand's areas of expertise are quite varied and he loves to keep his hands in the cookie jar to improve matters.

Avie was a phenomenal taskmaster. Read: he kept people on task and his will always prevailed thus garnering respect from Steve for always delivering products. This didn't always sit well with the less disciplined members in engineering but then again the taskmaster's job is to shape a direction and meet it.

Avie was a very conservative and matter-of-fact.

That daring fireball article is a joke. The biggest delay in OS X has been accommodating the Carbon/Classic cruft of the past. His "flamed" support note was a reflection of the dichotomy between the past and the future.

OS X will continue to gain in performance the less and less legacy crap is retained in the OS. And that legacy is the transition layer, Carbon.

100% agree

Put carbon in the trash and empty the trash!
(finder is carbon...)

tf
post #37 of 93
Quote:
Originally posted by frogggy
Put carbon in the trash and empty the trash!
(finder is carbon...)

There's no reason to keep it carbon anymore.
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post #38 of 93
Quote:
Originally posted by tink
Maybe .........

APPLE IS DOOMED!

Its not fun when its true




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post #39 of 93
Quote:
Originally posted by AgNuke1707
as someone who's been on both ends of that rope as a peon and a supervisor (in construction, not programming, but they kinda work the same way...)

They don't work the same way at all - if you want to use a construction analogy, it would be like being a construction manager where you can't leave the trailer to go look at the building. All you get are reports from your workers, inspectors and customers - and all of them know more about what your building is and should be than you do.

Even a first level manager (with 10 engineers, say, working for them) will probably never have time to look at a single line of code - and even if they spent all their time looking at it, they would only be able to see and understand 5% of it.

A team of good engineers with a bad manager will still get the job done - but a good manager will never be able to get the job done with a team of lousy engineers, which is why people at the bottom matter more to your success or failure.

I wouldn't worry about the loss of a VP - the time you have to worry is when you start losing lots of programmers (like microsoft is doing right now).
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post #40 of 93
Quote:
Originally posted by CosmoNut
There's no reason to keep it carbon anymore.

Please name a reason to make it Cocoa.

"It'll be faster" doesn't count because that's wrong.

"It'll be less buggy" doesn't count because that's wrong.

"It'll be more featureful" only counts if being able to use emacs text shortcuts and spell checking while renaming files is a major feature for you.

"It'll fix synchronization issues with FTP and other network media" is wrong.
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