Lions and Tigers and Leopards, Oh My, may be Bertrand Serlet?s legacy as the VP in charge of Mac software engineering since 2003 walks away from Apple. The guy who is credited with giving birth to the animal kingdom of Mac OS X is leaving just as the next version, 10.7 Lion, is scheduled for release.
Serlet who guided the Mac?s Unix-based operating system and graphical user interface through seven versions of the jungle inhabited by Cheetah, Puma, Jaguar, Panther, Tiger, Leopard, and Snow Leopard to the forthcoming Lion will no longer lead the safari. The trail guide?s name that Mac users will be hearing more often now is Craig Federighi who is taking over the position of Senior VP. His predecessor, Serlet, claims he is leaving to "focus less on product and more on science," whatever that means. After making Serlet?s departure public via a prepared statement, the Cupertino company remained closed mouth on the topic.
Comments seen on ModMyi.com, an iPhone-focused community, showed a general feeling that they were sorry to see Serlet leave. Speculation is running rampant as to what precipitated his departure after more than two decades at Jobs? side. Some say he might have been hoping to be offered Steve Jobs? mantle if the founder?s absence became permanent.
Serlet came from Xerox PARC to NeXT, also founded by Jobs, from whence Serlet ported the operating system to the Mac OS X. An ardent critic of Windows Vista and Windows 7, he definitely has been an Apple devotee. He has been referred to as a guru, a software pioneer, a maverick. Pretty big shoes to fill, but Federighi has to take only a small step from VP to Senior VP.
Federighi shares history with his departing supervisor having also been at NeXT before landing in Apple?s basket. After a hiatus at Ariba, Federighi returned to Apple. Serlet says of him, "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."
Mac OS X Lion will include Lion Mission Control and Launch Pad. Apple promises they are "taking some of the best ideas from iPad and bringing them back to the Mac." Not only have Snow Leopard users gained access to the Apple Mac App Store recently, Lion will also be able to prowl the store.
It is apparent that Serlet and Apple both want to allay any fears that the ball might be dropped, either in development, or in management, since everyone is still uneasy over Jobs? third leave of absence from the company.