An Apple representative confirmed Tuesday that Tevanian will leave Apple's employ on March 31 and said he "plans to take some time off in the interim."
Tevanian is "leaving the company to pursue other interests," Katie Cotton, vice president of corporate communications, said in an e-mail. "We thank him for his many accomplishments."
Tevanian joined Apple from Next in 1997, after serving as head of engineering for the Steve Jobs-run start-up. Initially he served as vice president of software engineering and led Apple's overall software development efforts. In 2003, he was, a role in which he helped shape the company's software strategy.
Bertrand Serlet, the executive who took Tevanian's post as head of software engineering in 2003, will continue to oversee Apple's software efforts, Cotton said.
Another longtime Apple executive, iPod division chief Jon Rubinstein, isthis month.
The departures come just as Apple celebrates its 30th anniversary, with the actual milestone occurring on Saturday. Tevanian helped to lead development of Apple's Mac OS X, which celebrated its fifth birthday last week.
Tevanian's planned departure was earlier reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.