In a significant leadership change over at Apple’s headquarters, design guru Jonathan Ive has just been promoted as the Chief Design Officer – a new position created especially for him. He is set to takeover this new responsibility from July 1, and will hand over his previous duties of handling day to day responsibilities of Apple’s industrial design group and user interface software teams to two new leaders in the company.
Telegraph reports that Ive will still be in charge of the design teams, but the daily administrative and management activities will be handled by two of his trusted lieutenants. Ive’s new role gives him more room to design – specifically Apple’s new retail stores across the globe and the new Apple campus. The new campus slated to be ready by 2017, is being designed by Ive, with him pouring his expertise even on intricate details like chair and desk designs.
The hardware-focused industrial design group will now be headed by Richard Howarth, who has been part of the iPhone team since the very beginning. On the other hand, the software-focused user interface team will be handled by Alan Dye. He is attributed for his key contributions during iOS 7 major design overhaul, and the new Watch OS interface.
9to5Mac even obtained this letter by CEO Tim Cook officially announcing the shift to all Apple employees.
I have exciting news to share with you today. I am happy to announce that Jony Ive is being promoted to the newly created position of Chief Design Officer at Apple.
Jony is one of the most talented and accomplished designers of his generation, with an astonishing 5000 design and utility patents to his name. His new role is a reflection of the scope of work he has been doing at Apple for some time. Jony’s design responsibilities have expanded from hardware and, more recently, software UI to the look and feel of Apple retail stores, our new campus in Cupertino, product packaging and many other parts of our company.
Design is one of the most important ways we communicate with our customers, and our reputation for world-class design differentiates Apple from every other company in the world. As Chief Design Officer, Jony will remain responsible for all of our design, focusing entirely on current design projects, new ideas and future initiatives. On July 1, he will hand off his day-to-day managerial responsibilities of ID and UI to Richard Howarth, our new vice president of Industrial Design, and Alan Dye, our new vice president of User Interface Design.
Richard, Alan and Jony have been working together as colleagues and friends for many years. Richard has been a member of the Design team for two decades, and in that time he has been a key contributor to the design of each generation of iPhone, Mac, and practically every other Apple product. Alan started at Apple nine years ago on the Marcom team, and helped Jony build the UI team which collaborated with ID, Software Engineering and countless other groups on groundbreaking projects like iOS 7, iOS 8 and Apple Watch.
Please join me in congratulating these three exceptionally talented designers on their new roles at Apple.