Last Updated on June 30, 2019 by Mark P.
Sir Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer, announced June 27 he is leaving Apple to form an independent design company. Apple said it would remain a client of Ive’s, being one of his primary clients. Apple stated that Ive would “work closely and on a range of products with Apple.”
Ive worked for Apple for nearly 30 years, and said he is most proud of the lasting work they have to create a design team process and culture that is without peer. “Today it is stronger, more vibrant and more talented than at any point in Apple’s history,” said Ive. “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.”
Tim Cook, Apple CEO 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,” Cook said. “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.”
CNET wrote that Ive’s departure signals the end of Steve Jobs era at Apple. “When Steve Jobs stepped down as Apple’s CEO in August 2011, people said it was the end of an era,” CNET reported. “The departure of Apple design chief Jony Ive, announced Thursday, is the latest sign of the new Apple.”
Since 1996 at Apple, Ive was responsible for all design, the look and feel of its hardware, Apple Park and Apple’s retail stores. Ive holds more than 5,000 patents and has been recognized with several awards throughout his design career. He received a bachelor’s degree from Newcastle Polytechnic, winning the Royal Society of Arts Student Design Award twice during his time in college. Ive, a London native, was knighted in 2013 “for services to design and enterprise.”
While many praise Ive’s contributions to tech desing, Vice wrote that Ive’s designs made Apple products “impossible to repair” and “disposable.”
“With Ive as chief design officer, Apple released the iPod, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, and various iterations of the iMac, Mac Pro, MacBook, and MacBook Pro,” Vice reported. “He was there for, and key to Apple’s transformation from a computer company to the most valuable company in the world. Under his watch, Apple’s products became thinner, lighter, and sleeker. They also became steadily less modular, less consumer friendly, less upgradable, less repairable, and, at times, less functional than earlier models.”