Apple's chief software technology officer Avadis "Avie" Tevanian is leaving the firm to "pursue other interests", according to a report in SFGate.

Tevanian came to Apple in 1997 from Next, where he was vice president of engineering. He began his professional career at Carnegie Mellon University, where he was a principal designer and engineer of the Mach operating system upon which NEXTSTEP is based. He has also been instrumental in developing Mac OS X.

Apple vice president of worldwide corporate communications Katie Cotton told SFGate: "Tevanian plans to take some time off in the interim. He hasn't left yet, though. His last official day is March 31."

Senior VP Jon Rubenstein (head of the iPod division) is also set to retire from Apple on March 31, according to Think Secret. Rubenstein also joined Apple in 1997, also from NeXT. Apple announced Rubenstein's retirement last year.