Former Apple Executive Avie Tevanian Joins Palm-Linked Elevation Partners

Private equity firm Elevation Partners today announced that former Apple executive Avie Tevanian has joined the company as a Managing Director, joining former Apple Chief Financial Officer Fred Anderson on the team behind Palm's attempt at reinventing itself.

Tevanian was a major figure at NeXT Computer, founded by Steve Jobs and later acquired by Apple for its NeXTSTEP operating system that eventually evolved into Mac OS X. He joined Apple as part of the 1996 acquisition of NeXT, and was named Chief Software Technology Officer in 2003. He left the company in 2006.

Fred Anderson, Managing Director and co-founder of Elevation said, "Avie and I worked closely together at Apple for many years and I have always admired his engineering talent and leadership, his strategic vision for how software can transform businesses and his ability to execute on that vision. We are proud that he has decided to join Elevation and believe he will be a huge asset as we explore new investment opportunities".

Elevation Partners holds a close relationship with Apple competitor Palm, having purchased a 25% stake in the company in mid-2007 as Palm prepared to refocus on its new webOS operating system that officially kicked off in early 2009 with the introduction of the Palm Pre.

As part of the restructuring of Palm, longtime NeXT and Apple executive Jon Rubinstein joined the company, where he now serves as CEO. Combined with the association with Anderson, who holds a position on Palm's board alongside two other directors of Elevation Partners, and now Tevanian, as well as several other hires from Apple's ranks, Palm has been seen as one the primary challengers to Apple's iPhone. But while Palm has released several webOS smartphones over the past year, it has yet to gain significant market share and is instead being overshadowed in recent months by the increasing success of Android-based smartphones.