You might recall that back in June, Apple's then design chief, Sir Jony Ive, announced that he was leaving Apple to start his own firm. Ive started with Apple back in 1992 where his first task was to work on the second-generation Newton PDA. He was involved in the design of several important products at Apple including the translucent all-in-one Apple iMac G3 released in 1998, the cube-shaped all-in-one iMac G4, the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad, the Apple Watch and the AirPods. In addition, Ive's distinctive British accent could be heard narrating Apple's new product videos ("this is the best iPhone yet"). He also helped design iOS 7, given that task in the aftermath of the fiasco that was the launch of Apple Maps.
By 2011, Ive was the most powerful Apple executive after Steve Jobs and was paid accordingly. That year he reportedly earned $30 million and received a $25 million stock bonus. Eventually, a new position was created for Ive in 2015 when he was named Chief Design Officer. Around that time, Ive helped design the new Apple Park campus in Cupertino.
Former Apple Chief Design Officer Jony Ive has officially left the company
The Apple Leadership page (via iDropNews) no longer includes a picture of Ive. As recently as October 14th, his sphinx-like expression could still be seen on the page. Instead of naming a new Chief Design Officer, Apple said that design team leaders Evans Hankey, vice president of Industrial Design, and Alan Dye, vice president of Human Interface Design, will report to Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams. While Hankey and Dye are supposed to become co-head of design at Apple, the pair do not yet appear on the Leadership page.When Ive made his announcement this past summer, there was no specific date given for his departure from Apple, but it would appear that the knighted designer (Ive is a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire or KBE for short) has officially left the building as they say.
When he announced his departure from Apple, 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. 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."
A report in the Wall Street Journal had blamed Ive's decision to leave Apple on what it called his unhappiness with the design direction that Apple was heading in. But that report was denied by Tim Cook and Apple's CEO called it "Absurd" saying that the Journal's story is not based in reality.
Meanwhile, Ive and designer Marc Newson have created a new firm called LoveFrom that will include Apple among its clients. Cook says that Ive's new company will work with Apple on "exclusive projects."
Back in June, Cook summed up Ive's Apple career by saying, "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. 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."