Jony Ive's Involvement at Apple Reportedly Tapered After the Original Apple Watch Launched in 2015

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 28, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Following Apple's surprise announcement yesterday that Jony Ive is leaving the company, fresh details have emerged about the design chief's day-to-day involvement at Apple in recent years that suggest his exit has been a long time in the making.


    Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports that after the Apple Watch launched in 2015, Ive had already started relinquishing his responsibilities because of the strain it was putting on him personally.

    Around the time, Ive told the New Yorker he'd become "deeply, deeply tired," and said the year leading up to the Apple Watch debut was "the most difficult" since he joined Apple.

    To extend his time at the company, Apple subsequently agreed to change his official role to Chief Design Officer, which allowed day-to-day responsibility of the hardware and software design teams to shift to executives Alan Dye and Richard Howarth.

    From then onward, Ive began coming to Apple headquarters "as little as twice a week," and many meetings with his design team reportedly took place in San Francisco so Ive could avoid the long commute from his home in the Pacific Heights district to Apple's HQ in Cupertino, California.

    Ive sometimes even met with his team at the homes of his employees, at hotels, or other venues, according to people familiar with the matter, while the design executive did much of his work at a San Francisco office and studio, which has now become the base of his new LoveFrom business.

    Ive also frequently travelled to London, near to where he was raised, according to Bloomberg's Gurman.

    About two years into his new role, at the end of 2017, Apple said Ive had re-assumed some of the leadership responsibilities he had previously given up, and Howarth and Dye were removed from Apple's leadership page. But still Ive only came to the office a couple of days a week.

    Some people familiar with Apple are worried about the new design leadership, reports Gurman. With Ive leaving, longtime Apple designer Evans Hankey will run the hardware design group. Hankey, who has more than 300 patents to her name, is described as a "great team leader", yet one person familiar with the design team told Gurman that Apple "now lacks a true design brain on its executive team, which is a concern."

    Hankey and Dye will report to Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams, who will likely gain more control over product direction, and some employees are also said to be concerned that the re-organization is another sign that Apple is less design-focused and becoming more of an operations company.
    As for the fate of Richard Howarth, Gurman tweeted that he didn't want to manage the design team, whereas "Hankey is known as a better manager, but isn't a designer." The entire group of designers has been reporting to Hankey, "and she to Ive after Howarth was demoted from VP a couple years ago," said Gurman. "The [organizational] structure isn't actually changing."

    Article Link: Jony Ive's Involvement at Apple Reportedly Tapered After the Original Apple Watch Launched in 2015
  2. Velin macrumors 65816


    Jul 23, 2008
    Hearst Castle
    Behold the genesis of the "butterfly" keyboard.
  3. MrGimper macrumors 603


    Sep 22, 2012
    Andover, UK
    Wonder if he ultimately plans to move back home to the UK.
  4. brianvictor7 macrumors 65816


    Oct 24, 2013
    United States
  5. Jyby macrumors 6502a

    May 31, 2011
    Steve would have given his blessing. I think Cook understood that.
  6. ghostwriter macrumors regular


    Nov 7, 2006
    Rocky Mountains U.S.A.
    Am I the only one who's not surprised by this? Ive is at his core, a designer. His reduced role at Apple these past few years is reflected in their products. Innovation has been absent since Steve's passing and now I fear design has also left the building. Apple has changed and not for the better.
  7. BriSpe macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2010
    Ooooh poor thing...the money bag was too heavy I guess. And what exactly made him tired? The years and years of same design for the iPhone and Mac lineup? Or changing the colour theme in iOS? Without someone like Steve Jobs pushing him he's just overrated as hell right now.
  8. atropos macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2003
    Ottawa, ON; Alhambra, CA
    I think Tim Cook and the new environment make jony quit... and the apple culture (it used to be) is long gone
  9. I7guy macrumors Core


    Nov 30, 2013
    Gotta be in it to win it
    So who designed the notch? What has the design process been. More to come, I guess.
  10. Roscorito macrumors member


    Nov 14, 2018
    This really explains the stasis in things like the iMac design over the last few years.
  11. IPPlanMan macrumors 6502

    Dec 25, 2009
    The butterfly keyboard is the surest sign he started phoning it in long ago. Showing up twice a week? No wonder this crap happens.

    He gets paid too much to get any sympathy from me. This is a man who will never have to worry about having enough money for whatever he wants or doing a job that he loves.

    Here’s the world’s thinnest violin for you Jony. Good riddance.
  12. Cool Pup macrumors 6502a

    Cool Pup

    Jun 18, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    This explains a lot about the recent direction Apple products have gone functionally and aesthetically. He will be missed and I just hope Apple can do something even close to what Ive contributed to the company.
  13. DNichter macrumors G3


    Apr 27, 2015
    Philadelphia, PA
    Probably makes sense to integrate some new blood into the design team anyway. I am sure it is a challenge to design for any tech company as you always need to be thinking about the implementation and the manufacturing process as well. Either way, I am not expecting much change from what we have seen over the last 5-10 years.
  14. MattMJB0188 macrumors 68000

    Dec 28, 2009
    Hopefully this means no more notch in future iPhones, or ugly flat design in iOS.
  15. SkippyThorson macrumors 68000


    Jul 22, 2007
    Utica, NY
    Interesting. After the end of that much discussed ‘4 year product pipeline’ referred to by Jobs.
  16. chucker23n1 macrumors 68020


    Dec 7, 2014
    I, too, have become "deeply, deeply tired" of someone who used to bring exciting, whimsical touches to design like translucent colorful plastic, shiny aluminum, and a white pulsating LED to make the Mac look like it's snoozing, but has now become a one-trick pony who only asks "can we make the side of the iMac nobody will ever look at even thinner?".

    There were a few rays of light in between, like Apple Watch bands, but for the most part, hardware design at Apple in the past 18 years (the May 2001 white iBook) has been an endless march towards thinness, silver-y or golden shades of aluminum or steel, black bezels, and a glass. Functionally, it has gotten worse.

    Enough with the sameness.
  17. iRutherford macrumors regular


    Oct 30, 2018
    Columbus, OH
    I'm so tired, tired, tired of my job and the constant childish politics but can't leave because I have bills to pay. Wish I could be tired like Ive and not come to work whenever the eff I want to and complain all day for presenting the same damn designs for years on end while keeping millions of dollars to myself.
  18. smaffei macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2003
    "Thinnest violin", that's rich. :)
  19. HobbesInVA macrumors regular


    Aug 29, 2018
    Chesapeake, VA
    I respect Ive's passion for design, however it led to a lot of issues with repairability for Apple's products. I'm looking forward to the change. I'm hoping this will do away with the butterfly keyboard and bring back "common sense" to product design.
  20. smaffei macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2003
    The flat iOS design was Ive's and Cook's middle finger to Scott Forstall because he wouldn't take the fall for the Apple Maps debacle.
  21. madmax14304 macrumors newbie

    Mar 23, 2011
    Good for him. Sounds like he almost worked himself to death and pulled out before that happened.
  22. ghostwriter macrumors regular


    Nov 7, 2006
    Rocky Mountains U.S.A.
    Absolutely agree. Without Steve at the helm, it appears to me that Ive lost his passion. The environment Steve created at Apple, chaos and all, worked for Apple and I'd argue it worked for Ive. Having been a part of executive teams executing at the speed of light, it can only be done for so long before the human body just says "enough". Ive was honest when he said he'd simply grown "very tired". None of us performs well when we're tired and given the relationship between Jonny and Steve, I also suspect his passion for Apple died along with Steve.
  23. Lerxt macrumors regular

    Nov 30, 2012
    Sound like a lot of people here are jealous of Ive’s success and money.
  24. itsmilo macrumors 68020


    Sep 15, 2016
    And that’s how we will end up with that ugly camera lense arrangement on the next iPhone
  25. smaffei macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2003
    Yet, Ive still found time to make those lousy product introduction voiceovers that I love to make fun of. You know, those "magical" ones with "al-loo-minium"!

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