Apple to Leave Industrial Design Chief Role Empty for Now: Report

Back in October, Apple confirmed its head of hardware design, Evans Hankey, was departing from the company after just three years of replacing the famed design chief Jony Ive.

Now, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports Apple won’t be replacing the coveted design chief role, but instead having its entire team report to the company’s chief operating officer, Jeff Williams, according to unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

Apple’s industrial design team numbers about 20 people and those with the most seniority at the company will gain larger roles. Williams apparently has decided there will not be one lead design chief, but instead, the group will report directly to him. This means the design team will now work more closely with Apple’s operations team, one of many areas led by Williams. This new setup has apparently caused tension among designers, says Bloomberg.

“Apple’s design team brings together expert creatives from around the world and across many disciplines to imagine products that are undeniably Apple,” said an Apple spokesperson in a statement last October. “The senior design team has strong leaders with decades of experience. Evans plans to stay on as we work through the transition, and we’d like to thank her for her leadership and contributions.”

Ive created his own design firm, LoveFrom, after departing from Apple and since then numerous designers from the iPhone maker have followed the iconic designer to his new company.

Back in December 2021, Apple offered an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at its design studio at Apple Park.

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