The man responsible for Apple's Macintosh software division and OS X operating system has stepped down from the company.
Bertrand Serlet will resign from his position as senior vice president of Mac software engineering and leave Apple shortly. Serlet will be succeeded by Craig Federighi, formerly vice president of Mac software engineering.
Serlet joined Apple in 1997 when the company purchased NeXT. Prior to joining NeXT, he spent four years at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center.
In his time with Apple, Serlet has helped to oversee the development of the Mac OS X operating system, which has served as the basis of the Macintosh platform for the past 10 years, and is credited with helping Apple re-establish itself in the market.
"I've worked with Steve [Jobs] for 22 years and have had an incredible time developing products at both NeXT and Apple, but at this point I want to focus less on products and more on science," said Serlet.
"Craig [Federighi] 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."
Serlet's resignation comes at a time when OS X has been overshadowed by iOS, the platform behind the iPhone, iPad and iPad Touch lines. Apple has recently looked to port components of iOS, such as the App Store, to the Macintosh side.
Carolina Milanesi, research vice president of consumer technologies and markets at Gartner, said that the move appears to be Serlet's call rather than the result of any performance shortfalls.
"It certainly does not mean the Mac will take a smaller role. You need to look at the latest line of the Pro family and the release of Lion to know that this is not the case," Milanesi told V3.co.uk.
"IPhone and iPad have helped Apple to get more attention to the Mac and will continue to do so in the consumer and enterprise markets."
Discussion of executive departures has become a theme for Apple in 2011. When co-founder and chief executive Steve Jobs took medical leave from the company, many were left to wonder about the company's succession plans. More recently, rumours have circulated about the future of design chief Jonathan Ive.
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