Tim Cook slams alleged rift with Jony Ive as ‘absurd’

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Apple CEO Tim Cook
Cook says the projects the design team is working on will blow you away.
Photo: Apple

Apple CEO Tim Cook is firing back on a report that surfaced over the weekend claiming design boss Jony Ive drifted away from the company.

Ive allegedly stopped coming into Apple HQ as frequently once the first Apple Watch launched, according to the Wall Street Journal‘s report. The newspaper also claimed Tim Cook’s inattentiveness to the design team caused the two sides to grow apart. Responding to an NBC reporter via email, Tim Cook said the story is “absurd.”

“A lot of the reporting, and certainly the conclusions just don’t match with reality,” said Cook. “At a base level, it shows a lack of understanding about how the design team works and how Apple works.”

WSJ‘s report says Ive’s enthusiasm for Apple wanned after the Apple Watch launch wasn’t as successful as projected. Ive supposedly set up a studio in San Francisco and had Apple prototypes delivered to him in Pelican cases. He allegedly showed up late for some meetings or even skipped design weeks for software teams.

Cook goes on the offensive

Tim Cook’s email response doesn’t detail which claims of the report are true. One of the biggest criticisms in the report is that Ive wasn’t satisfied that Apple has gone from a design-centric approach to operations-focused. Many of Tim Cook’s hires to the top executive team have come from the operations side of the business.

Here’s Tim Cook’s full response:

Hope you are well.

The story is absurd. A lot of the reporting, and certainly the conclusions just don’t match with reality. At a base level, it shows a lack of understanding about how the design team works and how Apple works. It distorts relationships, decisions and events to the point that we just don’t recognize the company it claims to describe.

The design team is phenomenally talented. As Jony has said, they’re stronger than ever, and I have complete confidence that they will thrive under Jeff, Evans and Alan’s leadership. We know the truth and we know the incredible things they’re capable of doing. The projects they’re working on will blow you away.

Best,
Tim

Sent from my iPhone