Jony Ive, the designer behind Apple’s most iconic products including the iPhone and the Mac, is leaving the company after 30 years and forming his own design firm, though he will still consult with the tech giant going forward.
Ive’s departure was announced in an interview with the Financial Times, in which he stressed that he will still be involved with Apple in some capacity. His new firm is named LoveFrom and Apple will be its first client.
“While I will not be an employee, I will still be very involved – I hope for many, many years to come,” Ive told the FT. “This just seems like a natural and gentle time to make this change.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook praised Ive in a statement:
Jony is a singular figure in the design world and his role in Apple’s revival cannot be overstated. 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.
Ive’s legacy is reasonably obvious: his design thinking not only shaped Apple’s product line but also basically every contemporary consumer electronics device. If your device is slim, metallic and impossible to repair by yourself, then it probably took cues from one of the designs Ive led.
As head of Apple’s design, he also spearheaded the total design overhaul of the iOS software. You’ll probably remember the jump from iOS 6 to iOS 7, when the operating system got a lot flatter-looking and abandoned ‘real-world’ design elements.
Apple’s stock slipped 1% in after hours trading in the wake of the announcement.