Jony Ive is reportedly returning to hands-on design duties at Apple, two years after being promoted to the role of Chief Design Officer.
According to an Apple spokesperson, “With the completion of Apple Park, Apple’s design leaders and teams are again reporting directly to Jony Ive, who remains focused purely on design.”
A promotion (and back again)
Back in 2015, Ive was promoted to his new position as Chief Design Officer. In leaving his previous role — which he has now resumed — it was divided between Alan Dye, who took over as Apple’s new vice president of User Interface Design, and Richard Howarth as new vice president of Industrial Design.
Ive’s new role was not spelled out exactly, but it seemed like it was designed to free Ive up from day to day management at Apple, so that he could pursue more “blue sky thinking” work, focused on future Apple products. At the time, Tim Cook wrote that he would be, “focusing entirely on current design projects, new ideas and future initiatives.”
Why Ive would be returning to his old role isn’t immediately clear — nor what this means for Dye and Howarth. Ironically, at the time that Ive was given his new job in 2015, some pundits suggested it meant Jony was on his way out of Apple, and this was a way of carrying out the transition. Now that he is “demoted” to his old position, no doubt many people will take it as signaling much the same thing.
Still, coming off the back of the iPhone’s biggest redesign in years, courtesy of the iPhone X, there can be few more exciting jobs than heading up Apple’s design team.
What are your thoughts on Jony Ive, the designer, circa 2017? Let us know in the comments below.