Jony Ive, Apple’s design chief is resuming direct management of product design teams after taking two years in a hands-off role with the company. He returns after taking off from core duties to lead the design of Apple’s new spaceship campus.
Ive is largely responsible for the design of original iMac, iPod, iPhone and iPad, the products responsible for Steve Jobs’s successful second run at the world’s most valued company. According to Bloomberg, Ive has returned to manage the teams directly after handing off the responsibility to Alan Dye and Richard Howarth in 2015.
“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,” Apple spokeswoman Amy Bessette told Bloomberg in a statement.
Ive began leading Apple’s design team in 1996 even before Jobs returned for his second stint at the company he co-founded with Steve Woz and Ronald Wayne. Ive was named Apple’s chief design officer in 2015 and is considered to be the second most important person after Cook at the iPhone maker.
Ive, 50, is not only an acclaimed industrial designer behind some of the most successful Apple products but he is also the voice that makes them seem like magic. His return comes at a time when Apple CEO Tim Cook is looking for company’s first major product since the iPhone. Apple Watch introduced under him is yet to achieve the critical success of iPhones.
Ive is back at a time when the company is looking for ways to design products that don’t look a better version of competing Android device. One of his goals would be win back to the trust from professional Mac users who have drifted to competing platforms due to lack of hardware innovation. Ive, who is also in charge of software design, could bring major changes to iOS as iPhone gets rid of Touch ID and Home button completely.