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Bertrand Serlet Leaving Apple

March 24, 2011

Apple Inc announced Wednesday that one of the company’s top software engineers is leaving after spending more than ten years developing the company”Ëœs signature system.

Senior vice president Bertrand Serlet, well-known for his role in creating and developing the Mac OS X system, will be replaced by Craig Federighi, who is currently VP of Mac Software Engineering, Apple told Reuters in a statement.

Federighi, who will report directly to CEO Steve Jobs, was also responsible for the development of Mac OS X and has managed the Mac OS software engineering group since 2009.

Serlet, who joined Apple in 1997, said he wanted to focus on science rather than products.

“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. “Craig has done a great job managing the Mac OS team for the past two years, Lion is a great release and the transition should be seamless.”

Serlet has been a vocal supporter of Apple and its Mac operating system. In a keynote speech at the 2009 Worldwide Developer Conference, he bragged up the benefits of the Snow Leopard version while slamming Microsoft’s then forthcoming Windows 7, saying it was just another version of Windows Vista.

Serlet was made senior vice president of software engineering in 2003, taking on the responsibility for the largest part of the Mac OS software engineering group.

Before working with Apple, Serlet spent four years at Xerox PARC and worked with Steve Jobs on his NeXT project beginning in 1989. Serlet holds a doctorate in computer science from the University of Orsay in France.

Federighi also worked at NeXT before joining Apple. He left the company in 1999 and went to work at Ariba. He returned to Apple in 2009 to head the Mac OS X engineering team. He holds an MS in computer science and a BS in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California at Berkeley.

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