Apple's Jony Ive Is Finally Free

Photo: Kimberly White, Getty

Jony Ive is leaving Apple, per a press release from the company. The designer, who joined Apple back in 1992, is departing to start his own design firm, with Apple as a primary client.

Ive hasn’t left yet but will depart later this year. He’s currently the Chief Design Officer for the company, where he’s overseen the design of some of Apple’s most iconic products—including the iPhone.

Though perhaps his best-known product is the original iMac, whose whimsical design notably helped propel the company back into the good graces of the general public.

According to Financial Times Ive’s new design firm will be called LoveForm and will formally launch in 2020 with Apple as it’s first client.

Ive told Financial Times that he plans to focus on wearables and healthcare at his new company, where he will be joined by fellow Apple designer, Marc Newson. Newson joined Apple in 2014 after previously working with Ive on a series of products for RED’s annual auction, including a solid aluminium desk.

What’s prompted Ive and Newson’s departure from Apple has not been disclosed. Speaking with Financial Times Ive characterised the departure as necessary. “This just seems like a natural and gentle time to make this change,” he said.

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, was his typical optimistic self in both his statements to Financial Times, noting company’s group of in-house designers is “the strongest it’s ever been”.

In Apple’s press release 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. After so many years working closely together, I’m happy that our relationship continues to evolve and I look forward to working with Jony long into the future.”

However, some people might disagree with Cook as Ive’s departure immediately wiped around $13 billion from Apple’s market cap, according to CNBC’s Steve Kovach.

Indeed Ive has long been seen, by fans and analysts, as the vision behind Apple’s coolest products since Steve Job’s passing in 2011. While Cook has business acumen to spare Ive’s is the one who seemed to have the Midas touch when it comes to gadgets.

In the last few years, the company has taken a number of critical hits for its products—from the soft initial launch of the Apple Watch, to the underwhelming reception of the HomePod, and even to this year’s MacPro, which has is divisive for its kitchen gadget aesthetic.

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