Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) announced that its Chief Design Officer Jony Ive is leaving the company later this year after almost 30 years.
Ive is one of the most important employees of the tech giant and one of the world’s most respected industrial designers. He designed Apple’s products including the iMac, iPhone, iPad, iPod and the Apple Watch.
He was also involved in establishing the look and feel of Apple retail stores and most importantly the tech giant’s “spaceship” corporate headquarters—Apple Park.
In a blog post, Apple said Ive decided to leave to establish an independent design company to pursue his personal projects. His design company counts Apple as one of its primary clients.
Ive will continue to work with Apple on exclusive projects
According to the tech giant, “While he pursues personal projects, Ive in his new company will continue to work closely and on a range of projects with Apple.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook commented, “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.”
Following Ive’s departure, Evans Hankey, vice president of Industrial Design, and Alan Dye, vice president of Human Interface Design will report the company’s Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams.
Ive said Apple’s design team is “stronger, more vibrant and more talented than at any point in Apple’s history.” He believes that “t 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,” he added.