He was considered a "spiritual partner" of Steve Jobs and had been with the company for almost 30 years. Now, chief designer Jony Ive is leaving Apple and setting out on new shores with his own company. But Ive doesn't completely break ties to Apple.
The announcement about Jony Ive's farewell came late in the evening after the close of the US stock market and will hit Apple fans hard. Jony Ive, who has shaped the design of Apple products for nearly three decades, is leaving the Cupertino-based company: "Jony is a unique personality in the design world and his role in Apple's revival cannot be overemphasized," said CEO Tim Cook. The 52-year-old will be leaving Apple this year.
However, it is quite possible that Apple products will continue to bear the signature of Jony Ive. The designer's new company, whose name is not yet known, will work with Apple as its most important customer, at least at the start. The products for which the design studio will be working on are not yet known. Ive joined Apple in the early 1990s and has been responsible for the design team since 1996. He was already with Apple before Steve Jobs returned to Apple after his spells with NeXT and Pixar.
Jony Ive's fingerprints are all over every major product
Jony Ive was responsible for the design of countless Apple products, from the Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh from 1997 to the first iPhone and the Mac Pro. The British designer, who was knighted in 2011 and officially named Sir Jonathan Paul Ive, leaves immense shoes to fill at Apple, which will initially to be filled by Evans Hankey and Alan Dye, who will report to board member Jeff Williams on behalf of the design team.
Jony Ive was born in London in 1967 and studied product design in Newcastle. He got his break at the London design studio Tangerine. He was hired as a consultant at Apple initially before he moved to Cupertino full time in in 1992 - the rest is history, which is now to be continued with a new company.