Jony Ive to depart Apple, form his own independent design company

Apple’s chief design officer Jony Ive is leaving the company after more than 20 years. Ive will form his own independent design firm. Apple will be a client of Ive’s new design firm, but he will not be an Apple employee.

In a press release, Apple said that Ive will depart the company as an employee and form his own independent design firm. Apple will be one of the new firm’s primary client. Ive’s design company will be named LoveForm and it will fully launch in 2020. LoveFrom will take on additional clients, as well.

As Ive departs Apple, Apple’s design team leaders include Evans Hankey, vice president of Industrial Design, and Alan Dye, vice president of Human Interface Design. They will report to Jeff Williams, the chief executive officer at Apple. Marc Newson, who joined Apple’s design team in 2014, will also depart to join Ive’s new firm.

In an interview with The Financial Times, Ive said that he will still be very involved with Apple for “many, many years to come.”

“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 in an exclusive interview. “This just seems like a natural and gentle time to make this change.”

In the same interview, Tim Cook said that Apple will continue with its same design team, while also getting to continue collaborating with Ive. “We get to continue with the same team that we’ve had for a long time and have the pleasure of continuing to work with Jony,” Cook said.

Also speaking to The Financial Times, Ive touched on what comes next for him at LoveFrom:

“To do something different is very easy. I have no interest in that. There’s no motivation that I derive from being different. I’m interested in trying to make things better. I’m interested in trying to develop and craft products and experiences that are characterised by their care and not of carelessness.”

Apple’s full press release is below:

Cupertino, California — Apple today announced that Sir Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer, will depart the company as an employee later this year to form an independent design company which will count Apple among its primary clients. While he pursues personal projects, Ive in his new company will continue to work closely and on a range of projects with Apple.

“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.”

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.”

Apple’s design team, recognized with countless design awards, brings together creatives from around the world representing multiple disciplines, including user interface, industrial design, graphic and font design, haptics and sound design.

Apple revolutionized personal technology with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984. Today, Apple leads the world in innovation with iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV. Apple’s four software platforms — iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS — provide seamless experiences across all Apple devices and empower people with breakthrough services including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay and iCloud. Apple’s more than 100,000 employees are dedicated to making the best products on earth, and to leaving the world better than we found it.

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