Apple has confirmed that Sir Jony Ive will step down from the company.
Ive, Apple’s chief design officer, will leave the company later in the year and form his own design company, although has promised that Apple will count among his primary clients.
Speaking of the news, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said: “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.”
Whilst Apple has not announced a replacement for Jony’s role, it did confirm that design team leaders Evans Hankey, vice president of Industrial Design, and Alan Dye, vice president of Human Interface Design, will now report to Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer in the absence of Jony Ive. Whether this is a permanent change remains to be seen.
“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,” said Ive of his departure.
“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.”
Ive’s new company, in collaboration with Marc Newson, will be called LoveFrom.
Apple will be the company’s first and “primary” client and Jony will be “very involved” in Apple for “many, many years to come”.
Speaking to The Financial Times, Jony said: “This just seems like a natural and gentle time to make this change.”
What are your thoughts on this news? Are you looking forward to seeing Apple take a new direction in design, or do you think Jony will continue to shape future Apple products? Let us know on Twitter using @AppleMagazine and check back for the latest.