Avie Tevanian

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Avadis Tevanian
Avadis Tevanian

1961 (age 62–63)
EducationPhD, MS, BA
Alma materCarnegie Mellon University
University of Rochester
Known forComputer scientist and coarchitect of Mach kernel, NeXTSTEP, and macOS

Avadis "Avie" Tevanian (born 1961) is an American-Armenian software engineer. At Carnegie Mellon University, he was a principal designer and engineer of the Mach operating system (also known as the Mach Kernel). He leveraged that work at NeXT Inc. as the foundation of the NeXTSTEP operating system. He was senior vice president of software engineering at Apple from 1997 to 2003, and then chief software technology officer from 2003 to 2006.[1] There, he redesigned NeXTSTEP to become macOS. Apple's macOS and iOS both incorporate the Mach Kernel, and iPadOS, watchOS, and tvOS are all derived from iOS. He was a longtime friend of Steve Jobs.[2]

Early life[edit]

Tevanian is from Westbrook, Maine.[3] He is of Armenian descent.[4] Tevanian cloned the 1980s arcade game Missile Command, giving it the same name in a version for the Xerox Alto, and Mac Missiles! for the Macintosh platform.[5] He has a B.A. degree in mathematics from the University of Rochester and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University. There, he was a principal designer and engineer of the Mach operating system.[6]


NeXT Inc.[edit]

He was Vice President of Software Engineering at NeXT Inc. and was responsible for managing NeXT's software engineering department. There, he designed the NeXTSTEP operating system, based upon his previous academic work on Mach.[6]

Apple Inc.[edit]

He was senior vice president of software engineering at Apple from 1997 to 2003, and then chief software technology officer from 2003 to 2006. There, he redesigned NeXTSTEP to become macOS, which became iOS.[1][6]

In United States v. Microsoft in 2001, he was a witness for the United States Department of Justice, testifying against Microsoft.[7]

Theranos and Dolby Labs[edit]

Tevanian left Apple on March 31, 2006, and joined the boards of both Dolby Labs[8] and Theranos, Inc.[9] He resigned from the board of Theranos in late 2007, with an acrimonious ending as he faced legal threats and was forced to waive his right to buy a company cofounder's shares, actions he believed were in retaliation for the skepticism he was often alone in expressing about the company's finances and progress in developing its technology at board meetings.[10] In May 2006, he joined the board of Tellme Networks, which was later sold to Microsoft.[11][12] On January 12, 2010, he became managing director of Elevation Partners.[13] In July 2015, he cofounded NextEquity Partners and as of 2017 is serving as Managing Director.[14]


  1. ^ a b "Avie Tevanian Named Chief Software Technology Officer of Apple". University of Rochester. Archived from the original on February 1, 2012. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  2. ^ "Was Steve Jobs' genius also a fatal flaw?". BBC News. 8 March 2012. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  3. ^ "Polishing Apple". Rochester Review V60 N2. University of Rochester. 1997. Archived from the original on May 2, 2007. Retrieved April 25, 2007.
  4. ^ Mezoian, Anthony (2006). "A Brief History of Portland's Armenian Settlement". Armenian Cultural Association of Maine History. Armenians of Maine. Archived from the original on October 3, 2008. Retrieved February 15, 2007.
  5. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "Mac Missiles! (Avadis Tevanian 1984)". YouTube. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  6. ^ a b c "Next Equity Bio". Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  7. ^ Heilemann, John (November 2000). "The Truth, The Whole Truth, and Nothing But The Truth". Wired. Condé Nast Publications. Archived from the original on October 10, 2008. Retrieved October 5, 2008.
  8. ^ Saracevic, Alan (March 27, 2006). "Adios Avie". The Tech Chronicles. SFGate. Retrieved November 19, 2006.
  9. ^ "Avadis Tevanian Jr.: Executive Profile & Biography". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on 27 March 2019. Retrieved 2 March 2023.
  10. ^ Carreyrou, John (May 2018). Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. pp. 35–40. ISBN 9781524731656.
  11. ^ Fried, Ina (May 7, 2006). "Former Apple exec joins Tellme board". CNet. Retrieved November 19, 2006.
  12. ^ "Leadership Team". Tellme Networks, Inc. Archived from the original on November 14, 2006. Retrieved November 19, 2006.
  13. ^ Partners, Elevation (January 12, 2010). "Former Apple Software Chief Avie Tevanian Joins Elevation Partners as Managing Director". Elevation Partners (Press release). PR Wire. Archived from the original on January 15, 2010. Retrieved January 12, 2010.
  14. ^ "Former Apple execs Fred Anderson, Avie Tevanian raise NeXT-themed venture capital fund". AppleInsider. Retrieved April 28, 2017.

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