Jony Ive departing from Apple as the company’s Design Chief was a shocking announcement yesterday, but the decision would most likely have been after years of events coupled with the natural fatigue that sets in after being employed at a competitive firm for so long. After all, being dedicated for nearly three decades at Apple is a taxing journey, and according to a report, Jony Ive started reducing his responsibilities and workload as Design Chief ever since the launch of the first Apple Watch back in 2015.
Design Team Meetings Started Taking Place in San Francisco, Where Jony Ive Made His Studio to Reduce Commuting to Apple Headquarters
Bloomberg reports that Jony Ive slowly started distancing himself from Apple’s hectic schedule until his imminent departure from the company. In order to reduce commuting times to Apple headquarters, Ive constructed his own design studio in San Francisco to do much of the work and we’re assuming that for the most important of meetings, he would visit the main office few times a week.
The report also states that in late 2017, from what the media and other people perceived was going on at Apple, Ive appeared to have taken back his responsibilities and spearhead day-to-day responsibilities. Richard Howarth and Alan Dye, both design VPs, had disappeared from Apple’s leadership page shortly after.
More evidence leading up to the departure of the executive was that Jony Ive started traveling frequently to London, and starting missing out on Apple product launch events. Also, Bloomberg stated that Apple employees are concerned that the re-organization announced yesterday after the departure might be another step closer to Apple losing its design mojo.
Furthermore, Evans Hankey will now be running the hardware design team and he and Alan Dye (leading for software design) will now be reporting to Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams instead of CEO Tim Cook. From this point on, it looks like Williams will have more responsibilities on his shoulders concerning the product direction and when it comes to Apple’s golden standards, it’s going to be an uphill battle for the executive.
Industry watchers have commented that while Apple’s focus on design is on point, they need a revolutionary product that will kickstart sales. With iPhone sales down due to longer upgrade cycles, fewer compelling upgrades, exorbitant pricing, and better value from Android OEM competitors, Apple’s biggest revenue generator won’t be able to lift the giant to new heights, and something noteworthy will have to arrive in the coming years.
News Source: Bloomberg