Sir Jony Ive, Apple’s lead designer of 20 years, announced today that he would be leaving Apple Inc. to begin an independent design firm of his own. Apple announced alongside his departure as an employee of Apple that Apple will be become a client of his and will work closely on a range of products with Apple.
“Jony is a singular figure in the design world and his role in Apple’s revival cannot be overstated, from 1998’s groundbreaking iMac to the iPhone and the unprecedented ambition of Apple Park, where recently he has been putting so much of his energy and care,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Apple will continue to benefit from Jony’s talents by working directly with him on exclusive projects, and through the ongoing work of the brilliant and passionate design team he has built. After so many years working closely together, I’m happy that our relationship continues to evolve and I look forward to working with Jony long into the future.”
In terms of who will replace Jony Ive, no one really is. Instead, Apple are creating a collaboration effort with Evans Hankey, the VP of Industrial Design, and Alan Dye, theVP of Human Interface Design, will report to Jeff Williams, Apple’s Chief Operating Officer. Apple mention that both Hankey and Dye have played key leadership roles on Apple’s design teams.
Jony Ive said:
“After nearly 30 years and countless projects, I am most proud of the lasting work we have done to create a design team, process and culture at Apple that is without peer. Today it is stronger, more vibrant and more talented than at any point in Apple’s history,” said Ive. “The team will certainly thrive under the excellent leadership of Evans, Alan and Jeff, who have been among my closest collaborators. I have the utmost confidence in my designer colleagues at Apple, who remain my closest friends, and I look forward to working with them for many years to come.”
I find this genuinely upsetting news. I’ve always been a fan of Ive and his love for design. I find his story fascinating and we have a lot to thank him for. Most of the revolutionary products we have received from Apple in the last few years have all been designed by Jony Ive, and I’m sad to see that this is the end his time at Apple.
All I can hope is that he will remain a critical role in Apple’s design and that Apple will continue to produce the timeless designs that they have been bringing to us since Ive joined Apple around 20 years ago.
What do you think of Ive’s departure from Apple? I’d love to know what you think!