Apple Inc on Thursday announced that its Chief Design Officer Jony Ive would leave the company later this year to form an independent design company. The company said that it will be one of Ive’s clients at his new venture.
Ive is known for shaping Apple Inc’s signature rounded and stylish designs. “After nearly 30 years and countless projects, I am most proud of the lasting work we have done to create a design team, process and culture at Apple that is without peer,” Ive said in a statement on the company’s website. “Today it is stronger, more vibrant and more talented than at any point in Apple’s history.”
The designer joined the company in 1992 and was considered to be Apple Inc co-founder Steve Jobs’ confidant. He became the chief designer of the company in 2015. Ive was also credited with reviving the company during a slump in the 1990s by creating products along with Jobs.
Ive’s new venture will be called LoveFrom and will be based in California, The Financial Times reported. The new company will officially launch in 2020.
“Jony is a singular figure in the design world and his role in Apple’s revival cannot be overstated, from 1998’s groundbreaking iMac to the iPhone and the unprecedented ambition of Apple Park, where recently he has been putting so much of his energy and care,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said. “Apple will continue to benefit from Jony’s talents by working directly with him on exclusive projects, and through the ongoing work of the brilliant and passionate design team he has built.”
The 52-year-old has reportedly stayed away from daily managerial responsibilities at Apple and worked on several projects on the side, including helping to design a sophisticated Leica camera, a Christmas tree, and a diamond ring worth over $2,56,000 (about Rs 1.76 crore), according to CNN.
The announcement came amid a record drop in iPhone sales in the company’s most recent quarter. Sales of a few newer hardware products like the Apple Watch and the wireless AirPods have been increasing, but the firm has turned its focus on expanding its services business, including Apple Music and iCloud, according to Reuters.