Exodus at Apple: Another veteran designer departs, Jony Ive's era nears its end

Exodus at Apple: Another veteran designer departs, Jony Ive's era nears its end
Apple's design squad is experiencing some shake-ups. According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, Apple's longest-serving senior industrial designer is bidding adieu, marking the near-complete turnover of a team once led by Jony Ive, who stepped away in 2019.

As per insider sources, Bart Andre, an Apple veteran since 1992 alongside Ive, spilled the beans to colleagues this month about his retirement. Andre was one of the last standing designers from the Ive era, contributing to the aesthetic of Apple products released over the past three decades.

Gurman notes that Andre was known as "one of Ive's top lieutenants" and played a significant role in leading the team after former chief Evans Hankey, Ive's successor, departed last year. Additionally, Andre holds the title of one of the most significant holders of Apple patents.

This departure (even though it's a retirement) marks the latest in a series of exits in recent months. Top designers Colin Burns, Shota Aoyagi, and Peter Russell-Clarke bid farewell around the end of the previous year. Several other longstanding designers on Apple's software design team indicate they'll be leaving soon, too.

Since Ive's departure and Hankey's exit, both the industrial design and user interface groups are now under the oversight of Jeff Williams, the company's chief operating officer.

Ive's core design team consisted of around two dozen people for well over a decade. An exodus began around the time Ive left in 2019, with nearly all the senior designers directly reporting to him having departed. Many of them joined LoveFrom, a design firm founded by Ive.

The team played a central role in creating Apple's last two product categories, the Apple Watch and Vision Pro. Jony Ive led the design of the watch and also contributed to crafting iconic products like the iMac, iPod, and iPhone. Although development of the Vision Pro started while he was still with the company, he left years before its release.

Apple's design team is responsible for shaping the look and feel of devices and software, along with developing new features and interfaces.

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