Jony Ive, former senior VP of design at Apple, is now the company’s first Chief Design Officer. He will still oversee Apple hardware and software, albeit less directly, focusing more on bigger-picture projects.
According to an all-staff email written by Tim Cook, leaked by 9to5Mac, “Jony will remain responsible for all of our design, focusing entirely on current design projects, new ideas, and future initiatives.”
Richard Howarth, who was largely responsible for the iPhone, will lead industrial design. Alan Dye, who was instrumental in developing the interfaces behind iOS 7 and the Apple Watch, will lead user interface design.
In an interview with the Telegraph, Ive said of the shift, “having Alan and Richard in place frees me up from some of the administrative and management work.” This means Ive will be traveling more, which includes working on the expansion of Apple Stores, and the construction of Apple’s new, Norman Foster-designed, campus.
Our takeaway? Ive has been handed the reins to drive Apple’s design at a global level, ranging from Apple’s products to all of the ancillary touch points–like stores–that make Apple feel like Apple. Given that Ive has already defined the modern era of Apple through the design of its products, and that Tim Cook is known to be a master of logistics rather than a master of design, it’s an obvious fit.
Who else should be orchestrating the grand design plans of Apple other than the designer who is synonymous with the brand?