Former Apple Strategist Joins Elevation Partners - InformationWeek

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Former Apple Strategist Joins Elevation Partners

The firm invests chiefly in media and entertainment businesses and counts Palm among its portfolio companies.

Avadis "Avie" Tevanian, who led Apple's software strategy and development before leaving the company in 2006, has joined Elevation Partners to assist the private equity firm in evaluating companies for possible investment.

As a managing director at Elevation, Tevanian will also advise those companies in developing strategy. During his nearly 10 years at Apple, Tevanian led the engineering team that developed the OS X operating system.

Fred Anderson, co-founder of Elevation, worked with Tevanian for years at Apple. "We are proud that he has decided to join Elevation and believe he will be a huge asset as we explore new investment opportunities," Anderson said in a statement.

Tevanian said he is joining the investment firm, in part, because of its "impressive investment team with the technological expertise and operational experience to identify future opportunities and implement change within existing businesses to seize these opportunities."

Elevation invests chiefly in media, entertainment, and consumer-related businesses. The firm is a major investor in Palm, which is struggling with its Pre smartphone to grab market share in the face of competition from Apple's iPhone and Research in Motion's BlackBerry. Palm is led by Chief Executive Jon Rubinstein, a former Apple executive who joined Palm as executive chairman in 2007 to help turn the company around.

When Tevanian left Apple, he was chief software technology officer. Before taking the post, he was senior VP of software engineering and led the development team for OS X. The operating system has become the platform for many of Apple's products, including desktops, notebooks, servers and the iPhone.

Tevanian also served as a member of the Apple executive team that led the company's turnaround, which started with the return of co-founder Steve Jobs in 1996. Before joining Apple, Tevanian was VP of software engineering at NeXT Computer, which was founded by Jobs around the same time he was ousted from Apple in 1985.

Bono, lead singer of the Irish rock band U2 is a managing director and co-founder of Elevation Partners. Other top investors in Elevation include Marc Bodnick and Roger McNamee of Silver Lake Partners, and Bret Pearlman, formerly with The Blackstone Group.

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