A devastated Macintosh community read the news yesterday that Avie Tevanian is stepping down as Apple’s Chief Technology Officer effective March 31st to “pursue other interests.”
I spoke with Avie at his home over the weekend as we both took Swedish massage from twin 17-year-old Japanese pearl divers while watching a private screening of The Fast and The Furious III: Tokyo Drift.
I was also high on mescaline but Avie was just having a two-olive gin martini with Quintessential as he had to get up early to do naked Tai Chi with Scarlett Johansson.
THOR: Avie, thanks for meeting with me.
TEVANIAN: Thor, it was the least I could do since you pulled me out of that burning building all those years ago.
THOR: Oh, that. Pff. It wasn’t anything. I’d forgotten all about it.
TEVANIAN: Well, I haven’t. Saved my life. And then you ran back in and saved every one of those fish in the aquarium! You’re amazing!
THOR: Well, I didn’t have to be at that charity event for the little leper children until later. I had the time. But let’s talk about you. I’m sure what’s on the mind of most Mac users out there is “How does Avie’s departure affect Apple, OS X and my personal belief system based on a universe that manifests itself as a constant flux between negative and positive energies?”
TEVANIAN: First of all, I’d like to say that Mac users have no need to fear for the continued success of Apple or OS X. I’ve been phoning it in for the past couple of years.
THOR: Really? That’s very candid of you.
TEVANIAN: Well, I don’t want anyone to worry unnecessarily. I know how Mac users are. I have a reputation as the “father” of OS X or the Mach kernel from my work at Carnegie Mellon. But the truth of the matter is I farmed all the real coding out to an Indian firm. Under the terms of my contract with them and as part of an independent study in business I was doing, I was able to claim the work as my own.
THOR: Now, that I did know. You were a pioneer in outsourcing to Asia.
TEVANIAN: I was. I was doing it long before consumers throughout the U.S. were spending hours on hold waiting to talk to Ranjit. Now the last part of your question about the state of the universe being an ongoing dischord between competing furies I’d like to answer through interpretive dance.
THOR: I was hoping you’d say that.
[Tevanian lifts himself off the massage table and performs a three-hour interpretive dance depicting the infinite saga of the struggle between life and death, darkness and light, good and evil. The finale consists of Tevanian waving sparklers in the air as a neon sign blinking “USA!” lowers from the ceiling.]
THOR: That was marvelous.
TEVANIAN: Thank you!
THOR: Avie, why now? Why are you calling it quits?
TEVANIAN: Well, truth be told, you don’t see a coworker get devoured by beavers and not have it affect you. I realized that life is short. And precious. And fragile.
THOR: Particularly compared to pack of bloodthirsty beavers.
TEVANIAN: [sniff] Yes.
THOR: Some have said that Jon’s death angered you so much that you’re going on a beaver hunt.
TEVANIAN: Um… actually that was something else they were talking about.
THOR: Ah. Oh. Well.
THOR: So, what is in store for Avie Tevanian?
TEVANIAN: Well, when I was younger I always wanted to take a few months and backpack across Europe.
THOR: Backpack? Really?
TEVANIAN: Yes. But I’m 44 now and I have a whole crapload of money so I think instead of backpacking I’m going to do it in a really bitching car going about 120 miles an hour with a couple of naked girls. Do the whole thing in a couple of days.
THOR: Hmm. So, uh, that’ll get you through the weekend. What are you going to do next week?
TEVANIAN: Um… I dunno. Uh… maybe hang out by the Gas-N-Sip. See what Gary’s up to. I dunno. I borrowed a buddy’s copy of the first run of Powers. I might read that.
THOR: Don’t you, well, don’t you think you should get a job?
TEVANIAN: I dunno.