The Real Issue is Sir Jony Ive is Not Being Replaced

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Sir Jony Ive is leaving Apple. You might have heard about it. John Gruber gives his take over on Daring Fireball and highlights the key issue about the departure – design is now reporting to operations. (I know Gruber doesn’t like formal titles, which is fair enough, but I’m a Brit so I have to use them!)

It makes me queasy to see that Apple’s chief designers are now reporting to operations. This makes no more sense to me than having them report to the LLVM compiler team in the Xcode group. Again, nothing against Jeff Williams, nothing against the LLVM team, but someone needs to be in charge of design for Apple to be Apple and I can’t see how that comes from operations. I don’t think that “chief design officer” should have been a one-off title created just for Jony Ive. Not just for Apple, but especially at Apple, it should be a permanent C-level title. I don’t think Ive ever should have been put in control of software design, but at least he is a designer.

Check It Out: The Real Issue is Sir Jony Ive is Not Being Replaced

The Real Issue is Sir Jony Ive is Not Being Replaced

2 Comments Add a comment

  1. CudaBoy

    The other point is if Apple goes to Design By Committee then that’s logical. Ive’s thumbprint and legacy is with the guys left there who can easily stay the course and probably be hipper and more current. It’s not like Ive did anything special AFTER iOS stuff anyway – the Ash Can was a bomb and all iOS stuff looks the same for the last 10 years right to the watch thing – the UI is same old icons and thumb-swipes and windows – not much UI change visually in a LONG time. Actually that’s who Apple is l looking for on LinkedIn – interface guys. And they patented an autonomous car emergency mode that will drive the “victim” to the hospital. Yay. 🚗

  2. CudaBoy

    Industrial Design is a trade, nothing special. You get a Design Dept with a head and he has a team that usually reports to someone above whether Operations or some other it makes no difference and is SOP. Ive wasn’t anything special any more than any successful designer that did some very good stuff and in Ive’s case some questionable (i.e virtually useless) stuff as well – don’t make me post the pictures. If they could put the Industrial back in the design – make hinges that don’t break, batteries that don’t short because you don’t know how to rout lines on a PCB board, screens that don’t break with a catch 22 no way to boot back up situation, that kind of thing…
    Did you catch the voluntary recall last week of the Macbooks?? I don’t think that’s EVER happened in Apple’s history – a preemptive recall. Good on Apple. I saw a handful of design jobs open up on my LinkedIn account the other day but not for a “lead” designer. 📺

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