Former Apple exec Tevanian joins Palm-backing Elevation Partners

January Clearance Apple Blowout“Former Apple software chief Avie Tevanian is becoming a venture capitalist, joining former Apple CFO Fred Anderson at Silicon Valley’s Elevation Partners,” Ina Fried reports for CNET.

“At Elevation Partners, Tevanian will serve as a managing director aiming to spot new investment possibilities and help guide the firm’s investment companies and strategy,” Fried reports.

Full article here.

“Tevanian spent nearly 10 years at Cupertino-based Apple,” The Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal reports.

“His roles there included senior vice president of software engineering, where he led the software engineering team that developed OS X, the operating system that today powers many Apple products including desktops, notebooks, servers, the iPhone and the iPod,” The Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal reports.

“Tevanian left Apple in March 2006 in the midst of an option charges investigation,” The Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Why’d they name it “Elevation Partners?” Because that’s where Apple’s refuse keeps piling up. wink

Avie, don’t forget to attend both the morning and afternoon “Bitch, Whine, and Moan about Steve Jobs” daily meetings.

As John Paczkowski reports for AllThingsD, “By enlisting with Elevation, Tevanian joins a group of Palm-backing Apple alums that includes Palm Chairman and CEO Jon Rubinstein, formerly Apple’s senior vice president of hardware engineering; Senior VP of Product Development Mike Bell, former SVP of product development at Apple; Senior Apple designer Jeff Zwerner; VP of Public Relations Lynn Fox, who once headed up Mac PR for the Cupertino, Calif., company; and, of course, board member Fred Anderson, who served as Apple’s CFO from 1996 to 2004.”

Elevation Partners’ press release, verbatim:

Elevation Partners today announced that Avadis “Avie” Tevanian has joined the firm as a Managing Director. Tevanian brings to Elevation more than two decades of operational and software expertise in consumer and technology businesses. Most recently, Tevanian was Chief Software Technology Officer at Apple, Inc., and a member of the company’s senior management team, where he led Apple’s software strategy and development.
Fred Anderson, Managing Director and co-founder of Elevation said, “Avie and I worked closely together at Apple for many years and I have always admired his engineering talent and leadership, his strategic vision for how software can transform businesses and his ability to execute on that vision. We are proud that he has decided to join Elevation and believe he will be a huge asset as we explore new investment opportunities”.

Mr. Tevanian said, “Elevation Partners has put together an impressive investment team with the technological expertise and operational experience to identify future opportunities and implement change within existing businesses to seize those opportunities. This is just one of the many reasons I am excited to join Fred and the rest of the Elevation team.”

As a Managing Director, Tevanian will assist Elevation in the evaluation of new investment opportunities, advise those companies and help drive the strategy of the firm.

“We are thrilled by the recent addition of two new partners, Rajiv Dutta and Avie Tevanian, who together bring incredible capabilities and relationships to Elevation enhancing our ability to pursue transformational investments in the future,” added Roger McNamee, Managing Director and co-founder of Elevation.

Tevanian spent nearly 10 years at Apple. Prior to serving as Chief Software Technology Officer, he was Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, where he led the software engineering team that developed OS X, the operating system that today powers many Apple products including desktops, notebooks, servers, the iPhone and the iPod Touch. While at Apple, he served as a member of the executive team that led the company’s turnaround.

Earlier in his career, Tevanian was Vice President of Software Engineering at NeXT Computer and was responsible for managing NeXT’s software engineering department and the NeXTSTEP operating system.

Tevanian holds a B.A. in mathematics from University of Rochester and earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University. While at Carnegie Mellon, Tevanian was a principal designer and engineer of the Mach operating system, which OS X is based upon.

He currently serves on the Board of Directors at Dolby Laboratories, Inc. and is a former Board member of Tellme Networks, Inc., an internet telecom company acquired by Microsoft.


Elevation Partners is a $1.9 billion private equity firm that makes large-scale investments in market-leading and consumer-related businesses where it can partner with management to enhance growth and profitability through a combination of strategic capital and operational insight. Its investment team has a unique combination of industry expertise and relationships; investing experience; and operating knowledge. Elevation’s seven partners are Fred Anderson; Marc Bodnick; Bono, Rajiv Dutta, Roger McNamee, Bret Pearlman and Avie Tevanian.


  1. And the biggest thing that they can find to invest in is an old failing company with little to no future?

    I thought VC were tasked with looking at start-up and newer companies with real growth potential that were privately owned and not yet Public Companies.

    A VC investment in Palm looks like a bad move for the VC firm.

    I think Elevation Partners needs so serious innovation and a revamping in their investment strategy.

    Elevation Partners more like Elderly Partners, “Where we Flush new money down the toilets of aging failing companies on the wane.”

  2. Palm may turn out to be a good or a bad investment in the long run. I would not call Fred Anderson or Avie Tevanian refuse.

    Fred helped Apple navigate out of it’s darkest financial times. Avie is responsible for much of the core architecture of the OS we all know and love.

    Rubenstein may have an axe to grind with Apple, I don’t know if that is true for the Elevation Partners team.

  3. I always thought highly of Avie and I thought he was always on good terms with Steve and that basicaly he left Apple when he felt his work there (the OS X kernel) was done. Don’t know what quallifies him as a VC but maybe he’ll tell them to get out of Palm.

  4. OK, MDN is just being whiney, here. Anderson and Tevanian are NOT “refuse”. They did good work while at Apple and left under “reasonable” terms. Could they have “negative” things to say about Steve Jobs? Damn straight. TRUE things! None of which should surprise the majority of the posters here. Jobs IS arrogant, DOES have anger management problems, etc., etc., yada, yada. So what! He is also brilliant! Still, these gentlemen did excellent work for/with him, nothing at all to be ashamed of.
    About Elevation Partners? Not so much. Maybe Avie can get them straight. They need help, he may be able to provide it. If they continue in the same rut, they will not survive.

  5. “And the biggest thing that they can find to invest in is an old failing company with little to no future?”


    That’s what most people were saying about Apple just 10 short years ago..

  6. Tevian was the master architect of OS X. He’s like a Geek DemiGod descending from the clouds to give fire to the upstart Palm or something. Of course, Prometheus got his liver eaten out by an eagle every day for doing that.

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