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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Apple does not plan to name a replacement for vice president of industrial design Evans Hankey when she departs the company in the coming months, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Instead, the report claims that Apple's product design team will report directly to the company's operations chief Jeff Williams, in what is a major internal shift.


Apple plans to give key product designers larger roles within the team, but the new arrangement has still "irked" some of the employees, according to the report. Alan Dye will continue to lead Apple's software design team, the report adds.

A spokesperson for Apple confirmed that Hankey would be leaving the company in a statement shared with Bloomberg last October.

"Apple's design team brings together expert creatives from around the world and across many disciplines to imagine products that are undeniably Apple," the statement said. "The senior design team has strong leaders with decades of experience. Evans plans to stay on as we work through the transition, and we'd like to thank her for her leadership and contributions."

Hankey succeeded Jony Ive as Apple's de-facto design chief after he left the company in 2019, reporting to Williams. The report notes that Apple could eventually choose to hire a new industrial design chief, but as of now the company has no such plans.

Apple has placed more of an emphasis on function over form since Ive left the company, although it's unclear if his departure directly led to such a change. For example, Apple brought back ports like MagSafe, HDMI, and an SD card reader on the high-end MacBook Pro, and Apple also revamped the Siri Remote with a more traditional touchpad and layout after some Apple TV users complained about the previous remote's design.

Article Link: Apple Dropping Product Design Chief Role, Team to Report to COO Jeff Williams
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macrumors regular
Jul 15, 2006
This one stings. Apple and design are like bread and butter. Its what people think of when they think of Apple. Do I just hope its a reorganization where there is still a single person under Williams with a design vision? Yes. Do I trust that there will be? No.

And I really liked the product design direction under Hankey...
The Apple design team has gotten very small. I wonder if half of these people still working at Apple today?




macrumors 6502a
Oct 14, 2016
San Jose
I agree that the headline sounds ominous, but isn't it possible that Apple simply needs more time before deciding on the right candidate? Maybe they have multiple candidates on the current design team who could serve as design chief, and they want to proceed cautiously.
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macrumors 68020
Jan 15, 2015
From pictures I've seen of Jeff Williams he doesn't look like the design type. They need a design chief. In the meanwhile they can try using ChatGTP and type "Make me a hot new iPhone with all the bells and whistles...and throw in the kitchen sink if Elon is finished with it".


macrumors 6502a
Aug 5, 2015


macrumors 65816
Sep 16, 2022
"Apple has placed more of an emphasis on function over form since Ive left the company"
Well as long as the final design functions, as well as others, did in the past, If not is just an elongated square with little purpose then just existance.....:p

Isn't there a saying? too many bosses and not enough helpers? ( rather not use some words reference because some might take it the wrong way.)


macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2004
And I really liked the product design direction under Hankey...
You like the new iMac's chin? The MacBook Pro's notch? The Studio Display's non-user removable, but if it needs to be removed you need a special tool to do so power cord? The AirPods Max smart carrying case that looks like a bra purse?

As with Jony Ive, there have been a few questionable design decisions lately IMO.

I will say she hit it out of the park with the Polishing Cloth though. 🤣

Well, if your 👎 is an indication, that means it's a "Yes" to the above questions.
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macrumors member
Oct 7, 2019
Alan Dye staying as head of software design is a disappointment.
I predict iOS 17 calculator will get the same loving treatment he did to Books and will be just a blank white screen with operators hidden under the share button and numbers hidden under the ellipsis button.
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