What you need to know

  • Tim Cooks has responded to the WSJ report of tension between Jony Ive and him.
  • He called the report "absurb" and that it lacked the proper understanding of how the Apple design team worked.
  • He pointed out Jony Ive stated the design team is as strong as ever.

There's been a lot of chatter regarding Jony Ive's shocking departure from Apple, a company he worked at for over two decades and helped usher a breakthrough era of design. Things were exacerbated with a report from the Wall Street Journal outlined reported tension between Ive and Cook about the focus of the company.

The report touched upon Ive's seeming disconnection from Apple after the release of the Apple Watch in 2015. One reason given was Ive's frustration that Cook was not focused on design and was more interested in operations.

Tim Cooks is pushing back against the report. In an email response to NBC News reporter Dylan Byers, Cook lambasted the WSJ report and called it "absurd."

Here are Tim Cook's full comments on the report:

The story is absurd. A lot of the reporting, and certainly the conclusions, just don't match with reality. At a base level, it shows a lack of understanding about how the design team works and how Apple works. It distorts relationships, decisions and events to the point that we just don't recognize the company it claims to describe.

The design team is phenomenally talented. As Jony has said, they're stronger than ever, and I have complete confidence that they will thrive under Jeff, Evans, and Alan's leadership. We know the truth and we know the incredible things they're capable of doing. The projects they're working on will blow you away.

Cook's strong rebuke of the report outlines the uphill battle Apple has been going through since news of Ive's departure broke. There have been a varying amount of reports focusing on the behind the scenes culture at Apple, but we will never really know everything that went inside that building. It'd be easy to point the finger at one particular issue as the root of all the problems, but that's rarely the case, especially for a multi-billion dollar company like Apple with a lot of people and personalities to manage.

Whether or not Tim Cook was a reason Jony Ive left Apple, the truth is we'll never find out or at the very least hear it from one of them. The best you can hope for from the two sides is to keep it amicable, and that's exactly what Cook and Ive are doing.