While Apple prides itself in maintaining a tight group of 19 industrial design team members under Jony Ive, one longtime member Daniel Coster has made a rare exception to the general rule and departed the company for a new venture elsewhere. As a member of Apple’s design team, Coster’s name has appeared on patents dating back to 1999 ranging from the iPhone 4 design to the iPad Pro’s Smart Keyboard cover as well as software interfaces. Since departing from Apple, Coster has taken an executive role at action camera company GoPro.
News of Coster’s departure was first reported today by The Information (paywall):
A member of Apple’s elite industrial design team, Danny Coster, is jumping ship, joining GoPro to head up a new hardware design group there.
The report goes on to note that GoPro announced the hire to employees in a company-wide email today, explaining that Coster would begin his role as VP of design at the end of the month. For GoPro fans, news that the action camera company is potentially getting a Jony Ive of their own should be positive for future product design.
And as Neil Cybart points out on Twitter, Coster had previously detailed his move from Apple to GoPro in an interview with New Zealand publication Stuff (Coster is a native of Wellington) in March:
What are your future goals in life?
“I want more time with my family and friends. And to explore this new opportunity at Go-Pro.”
The full interview, which was conducted by 14-year-old New Zealand student Scott Duncan, is a quick and interesting read.
And while Coster’s exit from Apple to GoPro may be positive news for the future design of action cameras, the rare departure is worth noticing after last year’s organizational shuffle in which Jony Ive moved from SVP of Design to Chief Design Officer, shedding day-to-day managerial duties and promoting two deputies to higher ranks in the meantime. Richard Howarth was promoted to VP of Industrial Design which covers hardware, while Alan Dye moved up to VP of User Interface Design overseeing software UI.
A single departure generally isn’t a huge blip on the radar, but in the case of Apple’s small design time which prides itself in rare turnover, it’s a point worth noting and could be indicative of more shuffling in the future. I, for one, welcome a future which may have sleeker looking GoPros, which currently look a bit dated to me, so long as it doesn’t come at a cost to Apple design.