Apple's top legal exec quietly departs

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Exclusive: Apple Computer senior vice president and primary legal officer Nancy Heinen has left the company, AppleInsider has learned.



Heinen, whose official title was "General Counsel and Secretary," is the third member of Apple's executive team to depart from the company in as many months.



She follows in the footsteps of Chief Software Technology Officer, Avie Tevanian, and Senior Vice President of iPod Division, Jon Rubinstein, both of whom ended their tenure at the Mac maker in late March.



Like her two former colleagues, Heinen joined Apple in September of 1997 following the company's acquisition of NeXT Software, Inc. She served as the primary legal officer and was responsible for overseeing all legal matters for the Cupertino, Calif.-based company.



During her tenure at NeXT, Heinen served as the first in-house lawyer and went on to manage a four member legal team. She was also responsible for preparing NeXT for its planned initial public offering and was counsel for NeXT in its acquisition by Apple.



It's unclear on what terms Heinen departed from Apple, but on her way out the door she dumped over $7.5M worth of company shares acquired under Apple's 2003 Employee Stock Plan.



An Apple representative confirmed that the exec had left the company but could not say whether she retired, stepped down, or left for some other reason.



Heinen's replacement has yet to be named.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 58
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, thrice is enemy action.



    WTH? What's with the NeXT folks jumping ship? I mean yeah, they're all hitting about the 20 year mark of working with Steve, and that's got to get you *some* sort of sainthood, but... eh?
  • Reply 2 of 58
    chris cuillachris cuilla Posts: 4,825member
    This is becoming a little disconcerting. Just the same it could really just be a combination of "Hey, I put in 20 years or so...I've got millions...time to move on."



    I wonder if something else is happening that is causing all of this though.
  • Reply 3 of 58
    bikertwinbikertwin Posts: 564member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Chris Cuilla

    This is becoming a little disconcerting. Just the same it could really just be a combination of "Hey, I put in 20 years or so...I've got millions...time to move on."



    I wonder if something else is happening that is causing all of this though.




    The Kool-Aid ran out.
  • Reply 4 of 58
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,597member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by bikertwin

    The Kool-Aid ran out.



    Or maybe someone is peeing in it.
  • Reply 5 of 58
    macnut222macnut222 Posts: 100member
    She's also been taken off of the Executive Profiles webpage.



    http://www.apple.com/pr/bios/





    **Interesting note: Jon Ive has been promoted, he's now Senior Vice President. Not to mention the fact that he's now on the page (before he was just a VP and not on the page at all).
  • Reply 6 of 58
    macnut222macnut222 Posts: 100member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Chris Cuilla

    This is becoming a little disconcerting. Just the same it could really just be a combination of "Hey, I put in 20 years or so...I've got millions...time to move on."



    I wonder if something else is happening that is causing all of this though.




    I think it's the first option you mentioned ("...time to move on").





    As for Rubinstein, that isn't new news. Apple announced that Rubinstein was retiring back in October. See here.



    As for Avie, I do believe that came out of the blue.
  • Reply 7 of 58
    radiospaceradiospace Posts: 180member
    I hope this doesn't have anything to do with the Apple vs. Apple decision expected to be handed down Monday.... (did she oversee the drafting of the original Apple Records settlement?)
  • Reply 8 of 58
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,539member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by radiospace

    I hope this doesn't have anything to do with the Apple vs. Apple decision expected to be handed down Monday.... (did she oversee the drafting of the original Apple Records settlement?)



    That's just what I was thinking... I wonder if this would be an excellent time to dump my stock, before it plummets....
  • Reply 9 of 58
    michaelbmichaelb Posts: 242member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by radiospace

    I hope this doesn't have anything to do with the Apple vs. Apple decision expected to be handed down Monday.... (did she oversee the drafting of the original Apple Records settlement?)



    If she came to Apple with NeXT it's hardly likely she drafted the 1991 contract.



    And if you're talking about the original 1978-1981 contract (the thing that started the whole problem because the Apple ][ could make musical beep beep noises), she was probably still in college.
  • Reply 10 of 58
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Well, even if something is afoot, I can't see where anything in particular would account for both tech people and legal people jumping ship, short of some looming crisis that has the executive staff planning for the collapse of the company, and that doesn't seem very likely.



    For instance, there was speculation that plans to deprecate the Mach kernel in OS X might have something to do with Tevanian's departure, but that couldn't possibly have anything to do with Heinen.



    Likewise, it's unclear how Rubinstein's leaving the iPod division could have anything to do with the other two.



    Unless Steve has gotten even more difficult to work with?
  • Reply 11 of 58
    transeautranseau Posts: 2member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by SpamSandwich

    That's just what I was thinking... I wonder if this would be an excellent time to dump my stock, before it plummets....





    I don't think so - the SEC would nail her harder than they nailed Martha Stuart.



    sad that it's illegal to protect your own money - but the fact is, you are not permitted to sell any stock based on information that the public has not learned about.
  • Reply 12 of 58
    transeautranseau Posts: 2member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by addabox

    Unless Steve has gotten even more difficult to work with?



    That seems more likely than any other reason. Maybe not harder to work with as much as maybe too demanding and wanted unreasonable progress?
  • Reply 13 of 58
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, thrice is enemy action.



    WTH? What's with the NeXT folks jumping ship?




    Just what I was thinking, too. This certainly doesn't pass the smell test.
  • Reply 14 of 58
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Well, to be entirely honest, Rubenstein's departure was announced long ago as pointed out above, so this is really just two in a row.



    Also, it may simply be as simple as "You know, it's just not the same now that the old band is breaking up... maybe it's time for me to move on too, so it's one fell swoop of a change instead of a bunch of little ones."



    *shrug* Who the heck knows... just odd.
  • Reply 15 of 58
    kreshkresh Posts: 379member
    edit: didn't read the post a few above mine
  • Reply 16 of 58
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,992member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    Well, to be entirely honest, Rubenstein's departure was announced long ago as pointed out above, so this is really just two in a row.



    Also, it may simply be as simple as "You know, it's just not the same now that the old band is breaking up... maybe it's time for me to move on too, so it's one fell swoop of a change instead of a bunch of little ones."



    *shrug* Who the heck knows... just odd.




    It could be a political tug of war. When Next was aquired, and Jobs took over shortly after, the Next crew took command in all areas.



    Now, with Apple moving in different directions, that might have changed.



    Perhaps some don't like that change, or the direction.



    And, yes, I've also been saying that Tevanian's departher may have something to do with Mach. After all, that was his baby. He wrote most of it. It would be difficult for him to be there if it were to be replaced.



    And, Mach has been disparaged in almost every technical article ever written about OS X. Perhaps now that it is on Intel, a direct comparison in performance can be made that shows it to be inferior.



    Otherwise, it's odd that any of these people are leaving now. I would think that they would wait until the arrival of Leopard. That's what Allchin at MS is doing about Vista. Jumping ship when this project is almost two thirds done is unseemly.



    Unless it isn't their idea. But, I just can't see that as the reason for Rubinstein's leaving.
  • Reply 17 of 58
    michaelbmichaelb Posts: 242member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by melgross

    And, Mach has been disparaged in almost every technical article ever written about OS X. Perhaps now that it is on Intel, a direct comparison in performance can be made that shows it to be inferior.



    It has mostly been Linus Torvalds doing the disparaging (for rather obvious reasons), and the rest of the penguin worshippers following in his step!



    Direct comparisons have been possible ever since Darwin x86 was released (ages ago), and yes, Mach does perform lower than Linux.



    However, the differences are more relevant for use as a very high performance server rather than a user controlled machine.



    OS X's Mach derivative - the XNU kernel - has a lot of peeking and poking advantages for the rich media type OS functions that Mac OS X users typically do, and Linux operators typically do not.



    Apple have been able to leverage a lot of flexibility out of the kernel. For example, to implement Spotlight searching, kernel changes were necessary. Had Apple, in some wild alternate reality, decided to switch to Linux as a kernel, it would have been far harder to achieve that. For one thing, the GPL license is very limiting for a company like Apple. For another, it would have required about 3 years of back rubs for Linus to agree to it.



    Mach allow OS X to excel as both a Unix machine and as arguably the best user experience yet seen on a computer. Linux is a very long way from achieving that, and the architecture of its kernel and the limitations it imposes is a factor.
  • Reply 18 of 58
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,992member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by michaelb

    It has mostly been Linus Torvalds doing the disparaging (for rather obvious reasons), and the rest of the penguin worshippers following in his step!



    Direct comparisons have been possible ever since Darwin x86 was released (ages ago), and yes, Mach does perform lower than Linux.



    However, the differences are more relevant for use as a very high performance server rather than a user controlled machine.



    OS X's Mach derivative - the XNU kernel - has a lot of peeking and poking advantages for the rich media type OS functions that Mac OS X users typically do, and Linux operators typically do not.



    Apple have been able to leverage a lot of flexibility out of the kernel. For example, to implement Spotlight searching, kernel changes were necessary. Had Apple, in some wild alternate reality, decided to switch to Linux as a kernel, it would have been far harder to achieve that. For one thing, the GPL license is very limiting for a company like Apple. For another, it would have required about 3 years of back rubs for Linus to agree to it.



    Mach allow OS X to excel as both a Unix machine and as arguably the best user experience yet seen on a computer. Linux is a very long way from achieving that, and the architecture of its kernel and the limitations it imposes is a factor.




    It's in no way just Torvald, though he is childish in his whining about everything that is NOT Linux.



    Mach has alot of problems from what I've read. Handlimg threads is one of the major ones. I haven't programmed for years so I can't claim to be an expert, but I undersand what I read about it, and it isn't good.



    I'm not saying that Apple hasn't gotten a good deal out of it, but perhaps it's just fallen behind.



    By the way, direct comparisons could not be made before because of the difference in the chips, some problems could always be laid at their door, and the way the rest of the OS was written around that. Now it's different.



    I haven't read too many people saying that Apple should use the Linux kernel. Mostly just Torvald.
  • Reply 19 of 58
    ted13ted13 Posts: 63member
    The simplest explanation of course is that with the recent explosion in the value of Apple stock, all of Apple's top execs can afford to never work another day in their lives, and after 20 years of long hours working for Steve at Next & Apple a few of them have decided to do just that -- retire altogether and spend some of their piles of money, or at least move to a much lower pressure environment.
  • Reply 20 of 58
    Have you ever noticed that when one house in a street goes up for sale you regularly see neigbours put theirs up for sale too. Often there is a tipping point and when someone makes the move others are encouraged to do so too especially when they have worked together for so long.



    The tipping point is probably simply that the post Apple/Next combination when these guys had the opportunity to take their exprience up to a wholely new level and opportunity has now matured into a relatively stable corporate experience for them, been there, done that need a new challenge especially after the excitment of that former period. Fact is that these people would probably have moved on years ago in the normal run of events, its pretty amazing that they stayed as long as they did. And as you say 20 years of SJ is more than enough for anyone especially if you are going to achieve a successful second career in your work life.



    Jon Rubenstien of course has got the best of both worlds with his own business and working as consultant to Apple so I doubt that he left on bad terms.



    Tevanian not wishing to put him down in any way, is probably pretty much burnt out in terms of OSX development. He has created the stable foundation, overseen considerable development and the initial stages of establishing it as a mature OS is now achieved. Its surely time to move in new inovative talent especially as Mach development, apart from OSX, has pretty much been abandoned since the mid/late 90s. The kernel does have inherent problems (as well as advantages) and fact is a level of new input (or a new or greatly modified kernel altogether) is needed as OSX moves ahead. It is difficult to have fresh thinking when so much of your life has been devoted to Mach and inevitably you will be defencive when necessary change is suggested.
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