Bertrand Serlet, often called ‘the father of Mac OS X,’ is leaving Apple


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Bertrand Serlet, Apple’s senior vice president of Mac software engineering, announced Wednesday morning that he’s leaving the Cupertino tech giant.

Serlet, whom many have called ‘the father of Mac OS X,’ has worked alongside Apple’s Chief Executive Steve Jobs for more than two decades at both Apple and NeXT, the short-lived computer company that Jobs started after being forced to leave Apple in 1985.


Jobs returned to Apple in 1996 in a deal that saw Apple buy NeXT, and in 1997 he hired Serlet to head the development of Mac OS X.

‘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 issued by Apple.

Replacing Serlet will be Craig Federighi, Apple’s current vice president of Mac software engineering. Federighi will take over Serlet’s role as senior VP of Mac software and, like Serlet, report to Jobs.

‘Federighi is responsible for the development of Mac OS X and has been managing the Mac OS software engineering group for the past two years,’ Apple said in the statement.

In particular, Federighi has been most recently working on Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, which is set to launch this summer and move Apple’s desktop and laptop operating system in a direction toward the company’s iOS software, which powers the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

‘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 said in the statement.


Like Serlet, Federighi worked at NeXT before joining Apple, which he left in 1999 to spend a decade at Ariba, a company that builds business software designed to allow collaboration.

At Ariba, Federighi ‘held several roles including vice president of Internet services and chief technology officer,’ Apple said.

Federighi, who was hired back at Apple in 2009 to lead Mac OS X engineering, received a master of science degree in computer science and a bachelor of science in electrical engineering and computer science from UC Berkeley.

Serlet joined Jobs at NeXT in 1989 after working for four years at Xerox PARC. He holds a doctorate in computer science from the University of Orsay, France, Apple said.


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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles