Today is a bit of a somber day for the tech community. For nearly the past 30 years, Jonathan Ive (famously known as Jony Ive) has been leading Apple’s design team on products ranging from the iPhone to the Mac to AirPods. As announced in a press release, it’s been confirmed that Jony Ive will officially leave Apple as an employee.
Why did I say as an employee? that’s because Ive is parting ways with Apple only by a short distance. While technically he won’t be an employee at the trillion-dollar company, he will have the Cupertino giant as one of his main clients with the introduction of his new design firm, LoveFrom. Ive will join designer Marc Newson for this venture.
To take his place, design team leaders Evans Hankey, VP of Industrial Design, and Alan Dye, VP of Human Interface Design, will begin to report directly to Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. For reference, Williams was among the first to begin development of the Apple Watch, and his team will spend more time working in Apple’s design studios going forward.
“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 in a press statement. “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.”
“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,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, in a press release. “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.”
Jony Ive is responsible for a ton of different Apple products’ designs. He worked on the iPhone, iPad, early Mac models (including the iMac and MacBook Air), Apple Watch, AirPods, and even the ill-fated AirPower charging mat. Let’s not forget the amount of work he poured into Apple’s $300 picture book. Ive worked closely with both Tim Cook and the late Steve Jobs to develop products that brought Apple to the point it’s at today. And undoubtedly, if it weren’t for him, there may be no Apple today.
Of course, this won’t be the end of Jon Ive-developed designs. Like I said, Ive will have Apple as one of his principal clients under his new design firm, so there’s a good chance we’ll see some Ive-infused products out of Cupertino in the future. Regardless, today is a landmark day for Apple as it formally loses one of its most renowned employees to date. He helped Apple revive back in the 1980s, and now, it’s among the biggest companies on planet Earth.