TitleTevanian, Avadis oral history, part 2
|Brock, David C., Interviewer|
|Hsu, Hansen, Interviewer|
|Markoff, John, Interviewer|
|Tevanian, Avadis, Interviewee|
PublisherComputer History Museum
Place of PublicationMountain View, CA
DescriptionIn part 2 of the oral history with Avie Tevanian, Avie discusses his career at Apple, first as Senior VP of Software Engineering and later as Chief Software Technology Officer, along with other topics after his retirement from Apple.
Avie begins by discussing how the acquisition of NeXT occurred from the perspective of NeXT, including the OS bakeoff against Be. Avie also goes into his personal relationship with Steve Jobs over the years, what it was like to work with him, and how one might convince him one was right. He then moves on to discussing the early years of the turnaround, working initially under Gil Amelio and then under Jobs, and Jobs' return as CEO of Apple. During this period, Avie's main priority was to turn Apple’s software group into a world class development organization and to direct key technical decisions in the development of Mac OS X, sometimes over the objections of entrenched interest groups at Apple, such as the decision to embrace TCP/IP and other open standards over continuing to use Apple proprietary technologies. Avie also discusses collaborating with Jon Rubinstein's hardware division, Apple's ups and downs in the early 2000s, the transition of the Mac platform to Intel processors, the sunset of Newton, Mac OS 9, and WebObjects, the balance between use of open source and proprietary technologies, the development of iTunes and the digital hub strategy, and his testimony in the Microsoft anti-trust trial.
In 2003, Avie moved into a new role as Chief Software Technology Officer, out of day-to-day product responsibility, and into a strategic advisory role with Steve Jobs, during which he helped set in place the software strategy for the iPhone. After three years in that role Avie retired from Apple in 2006.
After leaving Apple, Avie has tried his hand at a startup which used crowdsourcing and data analytics to predict stock prices, and become a venture capitalist, working with fellow Apple alumnus Fred Andersen, first at Elevation Partners, and now at NextEquity.
Avie concludes his oral history by giving his thoughts on the value to Apple of secrecy, his successors at Apple, Apple's current and future challenges, and looks back at Steve Jobs' passing and Jobs' legacy.