Tension between Apple senior vice president Jony Ive and human interface vice president Greg Christie have apparently reached a boiling point with the end result being a pretty big management shakeup according to sources briefed on the matter as reported by 9to5Mac.
Christie and Ive reportedly butted heads with regard to the design direction of iOS 7. Instead of trying to work things out, sources say Ive simply sidestepped Christie’s leadership of the design team. As such, he will soon part ways with Apple and all software designers will at that point report directly to Ive.
Christie is a longtime industry veteran and has worked for Apple since 1996. He was a key member of the team that worked on the original iPhone and has hundreds of Apple patents under his belt including the infamous “slide to unlock” patent which is a critical part of Apple’s patent infringement claims against rival Samsung.
More recently, Christie took part in an interview with The Wall Street Journal last month where he detailed a 2005 ultimatum from co-founder Steve Jobs. While working on software for the iPhone, Jobs reportedly gave the team two weeks to show progress on the project or he would put another team in charge of it.
In a statement on the matter, Apple said Christie was still with the company but has been planning to retire later this year after nearly 20 years with the Cupertino-based company.