Apple has just announced its chief design officer, Jony Ive, is leaving the company:
Apple today announced that Sir Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer, will depart the company as an employee later this year to form an independent design company which will count Apple among its primary clients. While he pursues personal projects, Ive in his new company will continue to work closely and on a range of projects 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, in a statement.
“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,” added Cook.
Apple says its design team leaders Evans Hankey, vice president of Industrial Design, and Alan Dye, vice president of Human Interface Design, will report to Jeff Williams, the company’s chief operating officer.
“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, in a statement. “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.”
In an interview with the Financial Times, Ive said “While I will not be an [Apple] employee, I will still be very involved — I hope for many, many years to come,” adding “This just seems like a natural and gentle time to make this change.”
Cook seemingly downplayed the departure of Ive, telling the Financial Times, “We get to continue with the same team that we’ve had for a long time and have the pleasure of continuing to work with Jony,” further adding, “I can’t imagine a better result.”
According to Ive, his new company will be called LoveFrom, located in California “for now”, he tells the publication. His longtime friend and also an Apple designer, Marc Newson, will be part of the new company. Apple will use LoveFrom for design services, but the new company led by Ive will also be able to pursue projects from other clients. The first client for the new company? It will be Apple.
“There are products that we have been working on for a number of years,” Ive continued in an interview. “I’m beyond excited that I get to continue working on those, and there are some new projects as well that I’ll get to develop and contribute to.”
This is big news. Ive has played a key part in designing Apple’s most iconic products, such as the iPhone. With his new company able to take on other clients…does this mean Ive can now design Android phones? (Lol)