March 31, 2006 was the last official day of employment for two key Apple executives: Avadis "Avie" Tevanian, Jr. and Jon Rubinstein.
Think Secret reported last Monday that San Francisco Chronicle reporter Alan T. Saracevic confirmed that Tevanian was leaving to "pursue other interests." Katie Cotton, Apple's Vice President of Worldwide Corporate Communications confirmed that Tevanian's "last official day is March 31." Avie joined Apple in February 1997 and served as Apple's Chief Software Technology Officer since 2003.
Tevanian's departure is a surprise in light of last fall's announcement that Jon Rubinstein, Senior Vice President of the iPod Division, would retire on March 31. Rubenstein also joined the company in 1997 and will be succeeded by Tony Fadell.
So what does this mean for Apple? Two senior executives departing on the same day would cause major shockwaves at any large company, especially when one of them (Rubenstein) is responsible for the company's most profitable and fastest growing division - the iPod. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what Fadell brings to the table before passing judgement.
An aside: this story got me to thinking about an incident that occurred at Macworld Expo 1998 in San Francisco. I was working in the VST Technologies, Inc. booth helping to promote the new US$349 VST/Zip 100 expansion bay module for the PowerBook 190, 5300, 3400 and G3 (remember those?!) and in walks Jon Rubinstein and Phil Schiller. They stopped at the VST counter to ask a few probing questions about the hot new VST Zip drive, which I answered. When my badge spun around Rubenstein quickly noticed who I was and remarked "Oh, I know who you are..." After I didn't respond he continued "I read your site every day so I know who to fire."