Apple has just announced that Sir Jony Ive will be stepping away from his post as Chief Design Officer to form his own company, LoveFrom. The new design company is expected to still work closely with the iPhone maker, according to a report from iMore.
Ive, who has worked at Apple for over two decades, is known for his design contributions to the company's Macs, iPods, and iPhones. He has also been credited with the success of the company's rebirth, along with Apple's co-founder and CEO at the time, Steve Jobs. The two men were fast friends and worked tirelessly to "turn Apple from near bankruptcy into a behemoth of industry," according to a report from CNET.
Ive's departure is being described as the end of the "Steve Jobs era," but the British industrial designer says he will still be involved with the company's projects.
"While I will not be an [Apple] employee, I will still be very involved — I hope for many, many years to come," he told The Financial Times in a recent interview. "This just seems like a natural and gentle time to make this change."
Apple later confirmed the news with a statement posted to its website.
"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," Tim Cook, Apple's current CEO, said.Earlier this year, Apple also lost three key members of Ive's design team, as previously reported by The Inquisitr.
Rico Zorkendorfer and Daniele De Iuliis, who have been with the company for a collective total of over 35 years, made the decision to leave their respective roles, according to reports from sources familiar with the situation. Another member of the team, Julian Hönig, who has been with the company for over 10 years, reportedly has plans to leave in the coming months, sources have also revealed.
Zorkendorfer explained that he will be taking a break from work to focus on his family; De Iuliis didn't immediately respond to requests for comment; and Hönig refused to comment.
While many Apple enthusiasts are now concerned about the future of the company, others believe the tech giant will be just fine without Ive, including Engadget writer Daniel Cooper.
It's currently unclear who will take Ive's place as Chief Design Officer, but Evans Hankey, VP of industrial design, and Alan Dye, VP of human interface design, will now be reporting directly to Apple COO Jeff Williams.