News of Jony Ive’s departure from Apple may have come as a shock to some, but to many others, it’s been a long time coming.
That’s according to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman, who reports that after the Apple Watch launched in 2015, Ive began to slowly relinquish his responsibilities due to the strain the job was having on his personal life.
Sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that many of Ive’s meetings moved to San Francisco, where he lives and has an office and studio set up, to avoid his having to make the one-hour commute to Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California. Other meetings were reportedly held at the homes of his employees or at hotels.
“This has been a long time in the making,” Bloomberg quoted an anonymous person familiar with the matter as saying. “He’s been at Apple over 25 years, and it’s a really taxing job.”
“But after the Watch launched in 2015, Ive began to shed responsibilities,” reads the report. “Day-to-day oversight of Apple’s design team was reduced to coming to headquarters as little as twice a week, according to people familiar with the matter. They asked not to be identified discussing private details.”
In a 2015 interview with New Yorker, Ive described himself as both “deeply, deeply tired” and “always anxious” because the year leading up to the original Apple Watch debut was “the most difficult” since he joined the iPhone maker.
“It’s been an extremely tense 25 years for him at Apple and there’s a time for everyone to slow down,” the person who wished to remain anonymous told Bloomberg.
The report makes it clear that Jony Ive was not really handling any of the day-to-day design responsibilities at Apple and only provided inputs to the design team. Thus, his departure is not going to affect the company much. However, the lack of leadership in Apple’s design team is definitely going to be a cause of concern and it will be interesting to see how Evans Hankey, the VP of Industrial Design, and Alan Dye, VP of Human Interface Design, take things forward.
Ive now plans to set up his own design company, called LoveFrom. Apple is expected to be one of his new clients.