In brief: Long-time Apple design chief Jony Ive will be leaving the tech giant to pursue his dreams. The mind behind the innovation of many of the company's products, including the iPod, iMac, MacBook Air, iPhone, and iPad, will be leaving to start his own design startup.
Apple announced on Thursday that its long-time Chief Design Officer Sir Jonathan Ive (better known as Jony Ive) will be leaving the company to start his own design firm called "LoveFrom." One of his first clients will be his former employer, so it will almost be like he never left.
“Jony is a singular figure in the design world and his role in Apple’s revival cannot be overstated,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook. “Apple will continue to benefit from Jony’s talents by working directly with him on exclusive projects … 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.”
"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."
On his departure, design team leaders Evans Hankey, VP of Industrial Design, and Alan Dye, VP of Human Interface Design, will report to Apple’s COO Jeff Williams. Williams, who has headed up the development of the Apple Watch from the beginning, will be working more closely with Hankey, Dye, and the rest of the design team in Ive's stead.
Ive has been with Apple for almost 30 years, starting as a designer in 1992 and being elevated to Senior Vice President of Industrial Design in 1997. Working closely with Steve Jobs, Ive was instrumental in reviving the Apple brand and was promoted by Tim Cook to Chief Design Officer in 2015.
“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,” said Ive. “The team will certainly thrive under the excellent leadership of Evans, Alan, and Jeff, who have been among my closest collaborators.”
Apple’s design team has won numerous awards including being named Best Design Studio of the past 50 years by Design and Art Direction in 2012. Ive will no doubt achieve great success in his new venture, and we wish him the best.