The influential designer of numerous Macs, the iPod, iPhone, Apple Watch and other iconic products is leaving Apple after nearly 30 years.
Chief design officer Sir Jony Ive, one of the seminal figures throughout Apple’s success, plans to depart later this year to form his own independent design firm LoveFrom.
Apple will become one of the new company’s “primary clients.”
“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’s CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. “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.”
Apple didn’t formally name a successor but indicated that Evans Hankey, who is vice president of industrial design, and Alan Dye, vice president of human interface design, will report to chief operating officer Jeff Williams.
Ive’s own statement read in part, “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.”
He elaborated in an exclusive interview he gave to the Financial Times. “While I will not be an [Apple] employee, I will still be very involved — I hope for many, many years to come. This just seems like a natural and gentle time to make this change.”
Ive holds more than 5,000 patents and has been recognized with numerous design awards.
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