Apple design chief Evans Hankey leaves, 3 years after succeeding Jony Ive | Cult of Mac

Apple design chief Evans Hankey leaves, 3 years after succeeding Jony Ive

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Evans Hankey, fourth from left in the front row, is leaving Apple.
Evans Hankey, fourth from left in the front row, is leaving Apple.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Three years after the influential Jony Ive vacated the role of hardware design chief at Apple, it’s opening up again, according to a report.

Vice President of Industrial Design Evans Hankey, who stepped into the top job in 2019, plans to step down. And Cupertino hasn’t said yet who will take over when she goes.

3 years after Jony Ive left, Evans Hankey plans departure as Apple design chief

Three years after Ive’s departure grabbed headlines and opened the way for Evans, her plan to go leaves the top design slot open at Apple, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman reported Friday. But Hankey, the first woman in the role, isn’t leaving right away.

Hankey apparently told the dozens of industrial designers who report to her she plans to stay for six more months.

Ive’s tenure had lasted about 20 years by the time he left in 2019. Prior to that Evans had worked for Ive before rising to her current title,  reporting to COO Jeff Williams.

Gurman pointed out this could be the first time Apple has been without a design chief since Steve Jobs returned to Apple and appointed Ive to the role in the late 1990s.

It remains to be seen if Apple will come up with a replacement in the coming months.

“Apple’s design team brings together expert creatives from around the world and across many disciplines to imagine products that are undeniably Apple,” a spokesman said in a statement reported by Bloomberg. “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.”

Bloomberg noted its sources said Apple’s Alan Dye, design chief for software and user interfaces, will remain. Dye got promoted along with Evans when Ive left. And they said former top Apple designer Gary Butcher, currently Airbnb’s VP of design, plans to return to Apple.