In surprising news, Apple just announced that Sir Jony Ive will leave the company later this year. He will start his own design company with Apple as a client.
Design team leaders Evans Hankey, vice president of Industrial Design, and Alan Dye, vice president of Human Interface Design, will report to Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. Mr. Williams led the development of the Apple Watch and will work more closely with the design team. So far there doesn’t seem to be an immediate successor as chief design officer.
The new company will reportedly be called LoveFrom, launching in 2020. Mr. Ive told the Financial Times that he plans to focus on wearables and healthcare and his fellow Apple designer Marc Newson will join him.
Speaking of the news, Sir Jony said:
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. 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.
Although he has headed the design of many products, including the iPhone, Sir Jony’s best known product is probably the original iMac. Its fresh, whimsical design helped turn the Mac line around. He was also alleged to have been the mind behind Apple Watch.