Jony Ive leaving Apple, starting LoveFrom, working... for Apple

What you need to know

  • Jony Ive leaving his position as Chief Creative Office at Apple.
  • Ive is forming a new company called LoveFrom (with Marc Newson), and Apple will be LoveFrom's first client.
  • Alan Dye, head of Human Interface and Evans Hankey, head of industrial design, will now report to COO Jeff Williams

Jony Ive, who collaborated with Steve Jobs on projects from the iMac to iPhone to iPad, and lead the company through Apple Watch and AirPods, is leaving later this year to form his own company, LoveFrom... Which will have Apple as a primary client when it begins operations next year.

From Apple (opens in new tab):

"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," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "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. 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."

Tim Bradshaw, reporting for the Financial Times:

"While I will not be an [Apple] employee, I will still be very involved — I hope for many, many years to come," Sir Jonathan told the FT"There are products that we have been working on for a number of years," he said of his continuing work at Apple. "I'm beyond excited that I get to continue working on those, and there are some new projects as well that I'll get to develop and contribute to." 

Instead of promoting or hiring a new Chief Creative Officer, Apple is moving the current head of Human Interface, Alan Dye, and head of industrial design, Evans Hankey under COO Jeff Williams' operations organization.

From Apple:

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. Both Dye and Hankey have played key leadership roles on Apple's design team for many years. 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."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," 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."

Williams has been running both health in general and the Apple Watch product at Apple since those efforts began. He has a deep love of product and a stronger Operations org and these new reports will let him delve more deeply into that aspect of the company.

Needless to say, everyone will be digesting these developments for a while now, so duck and cover because the hot takes will be hitting like a meteor shower, and then jump in the comments and let me know what you think.

More as this develops, obviously.

Rene Ritchie
Contributor

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

6 Comments
  • Good for him! He probably has a lot of other things he'd like to do, but can't while employed at Apple. And maybe this will make room for "fresh" design ideas.
  • Well said! I think all of those things could be true.
  • I'm curious how the design process will change and how the team will work (or has been working) with Ive gone. It's a new era... I'm excited!
  • Wonder how many of the team he will take with him, or if restrictions are in place to prevent this.
  • Good for him. Only job left would've been Tim Apple's seat. Be interesting what this next phase unfolds.
  • There is always a Ying and Yang in the design process between an established designer like Jony and new blood. But, when you have a stagnant team you do encounter lack of fresh ideas. I fully respect Jony's visions while I have had issues with some of his directions in the whole Jony has been good for Apple. I'm hoping some new ideas and concepts get a chance to bubble up and take hold! Like bring HomePod up to the next level with Mesh WiFi and using PoE for power so you only have one wire! Then how about leveraging the engineering of the Touch Bar as a marque and physical controls! As for concepts, how about thinking 'Swarm' Upto now each device has mostly been unique with a few interactions like Apple Watch with Auto Unlock, Continuity Camera, and Handoff. But there's more thats missing! Like having the devices have pervasive knowledge so only the device near you is ringing or chirping with a notification. And as you walk around your home lights come on as well as go off without fighting for the light switch.