Apple’s veteran chief designer, Jony Ive, one of the main figures in the apple company’s resurgence in recent decades and responsible for shaping, among others, the iPhone, iMac or iPod, will leave the firm this year.
In a statement, the company from Cupertino (California, USA) announced the departure of Ive, who will create its own business dedicated to design and will have Apple “as one of its main customers. “Jony is a singular figure in the world of design and his role in Apple’s rebirth cannot be underestimated, from the innovative iMac of 1998 to the iPhone and the unprecedented ambition of Apple Park,” said the company’s CEO, Tim Cook.
Ive has been working for Apple for almost three decades and despite leaving the company will not completely disassociate himself from it, as he and his new business “will continue working side by side” in several projects with the manufacturer of the iPhone. The position Ive will leave will be shared, at least temporarily, between the current vice president of industrial design, Evans Hankey, and the vice president of human interface design, Alan Dye.
“After almost thirty years and countless projects, I’m very proud of the work we’ve done to create a design team, a process, and a culture in Apple that is unparalleled. Today, [the company] is stronger, more vibrant, and more talented than ever before in its history,” Ive said.
The company did not specify the exact date on which the current chief designer will leave beyond “later this year” and, although they did not detail the name of the firm Ive intends to create, The Financial Times noted that this is LoveFrom, a project that will be undertaken with his friend and designer Marc Newson. The news, which became known after the stock markets closed in New York, caused Apple shares to fall around 1% to $197.93 per share in electronic transactions after the closing of the market, after having remained stable throughout the day.
Born in Chingford, London (United Kingdom), Jonathan Ive studied Industrial Design at Northumbria University. After a short stint at the London design agency Tangerine, he moved to the United States in 1992 to pursue his career at Apple Inc. where he achieved his position as chief designer on the return of Steve Jobs in 1997. Since then he has led the Industrial Design team responsible for most of the company’s major hardware products.