Apple's programming guru Avie Tevanian is leaving the company, reports the New York Post.

Tevanian, senior vice president of software engineering, has worked with Apple CEO Steve Jobs since 1988, first at NeXTStep, then following him back to Apple. He is reportedly moving on to "do something else".

Tevanian is widely regarded as the engineering intelligence of the company. He's also held to be one of Apple's more diplomatic managers.

The search for his replacement is reportedly "not going very well".

The veracity of this shocking report remains in question. The New York Post is a free newspaper distributed within the New York area. Some observers question the depth of its IT reporting.

Apple's UK PR sources were unavailable to confirm or deny the story, as, somewhat strangely given the cancellation of Apple Expo, they are in Paris.