Jony Ive's Shoes Won't Be Filled at Apple, Wedbush's Ives Says

Jony Ive

Jony Ive

After almost 30 years, Apple announces that its chief design officer, Sir Jony Ive, is leaving the company to start his own design firm.

After 27 years at Apple, Ive is leaving to set up his own company: LoveFrom, which sounds a bit like someone saying "LoveFilm" with a cold.

Maybe you do not know him by name but Jonathan Ive, Apple's design director, is the voice that, in recent years, you've heard describe the design innovations of Apple's new products in the videos shown during the presentation events.

Ive has been with Apple for nearly 30 years, starting as a designer in 1992 and being elevated to Senior Vice President of Industrial Design in 1997. Back in December 2015, it promoted Ive to Chief Design Officer, a more executive, non-creative role. "We get to continue with the same team that we've had for a long time and have the pleasure of continuing to work with Jony", Cook told the FT.

In 2014, Ive said in an interview that if his work at Apple ever dropped in quality, he would "make things" for himself and "for friends at home instead". "Williams has led the development of Apple Watch since its inception and will spend more of his time working with the design team in their studio", the company said.

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Ive stressed that his departure from the company does not mean he will stop working with Apple. Ive reported directly to Cook.

After Jobs' death, pundits questioned whether Apple could continue Jobs' pace of new products. In 2012, a year after becoming CEO, Cook put Ive in charge of software design as well. Still, it's a shame to see Ive go. While leaving Apple in an official capacity, Ive will still keep ties intact, with LoveFrom counting Apple as its first client.

Apple's shares fell as much as 1.5 per cent to $US197.44 in after-market trading, wiping about $US9 billion from the firm's value. That sounds pretty insane, especially since the company already has a great designer with Panos Panay. Now that it's done, it seems like this could be a great time for Apple to inject some fresh blood into its design leadership.

Other analysts said Apple is well-prepared for Ive's transition and that it may even allow the company to benefit from fresh ideas.

The effort, which was never released, was not part of Hankey's official duties. However, after working at Apple for 27 years, maybe Ive will be looking to take some distances with the tech industry for a little while.

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