Apple Says Computer-Software Chief Serlet Is Stepping Down

Apple Says Computer-Software Chief Serlet Is Stepping Down
Bertrand Serlet, former senior vice president of software engineering at Apple Inc. Source: Apple Inc. via Bloomberg

Apple Inc. announced the departure of Bertrand Serlet, a senior software engineer at the company since the return of Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs in 1997 and a main architect of the Mac operating system.

Serlet, 50, senior vice president for computer-software engineering, is leaving to focus more on research, Cupertino, California-based Apple said today in a statement. Craig Federighi, the division’s vice president, will take Serlet’s place and report to Jobs.

“I’ve worked with Steve for 22 years and have had an incredible time developing products at both NeXT and Apple, but at this point, I want to focus less on products and more on science,” Serlet said in a statement.

Serlet, who holds a doctorate in computer science from the University of Orsay, France, joined the company in 1997, when Apple acquired NeXT, the computer business Jobs founded after leaving Apple in 1985.

Departures have been rare lately among Jobs’s top executives. He has kept a core team intact, including Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook, who’s running the company while he’s on medical leave. Others include Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer; Phil Schiller, the marketing chief; Ron Johnson, head of retail; Bob Mansfield, who runs hardware engineering; Scott Forstall, who is in charge of iPhone software; and Jonathan Ive, head of design.

Mac Os X

Mark Papermaster, a senior vice president who Apple hired in 2008 to run its mobile-device engineering unit, left last year and now works at Cisco System Inc.

Serlet helped develop the Mac OS X operating system that runs Apple’s Macintosh computers. The next version of Apple’s Mac operating system, to be called Lion, is scheduled to be released later this year.

Federighi, who also worked at NeXT, has led Mac software engineering since 2009, after spending a decade at Sunnyvale, California-based Ariba Inc. in roles including vice president of Internet services and chief technology officer.

Apple fell $2.01, or less than 1 percent, to close at $339.19 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading at 4 p.m. in New York. The shares have gained 5.2 percent this year.

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