“Could Jonathan Ive, the publicity-shy Essex boy who started his career designing toilets and combs, be close to performing one of the most extraordinary coups in American business history?” Chris Ayres asks for The Times Online. “Could this 40-year-old gym-toned, shaven-headed, Aston Martin-driving Brit, who lives in Twin Peaks, San Francisco, with his wife, who is a historian, and their twin sons, be the next man to run Apple Computer?”
Steve Jobs “is under growing pressure to name his ultimate replacement, as many fear that a company built on one man’s personality needs a clear succession plan,” Ayres writes.
Mr Ive and Mr Jobs are said to talk at least once a day, and Mr Ive shares his boss’s perfectionism,” Ayres writes.
“Some have suggested that Mr Ive lacks the charisma to become ‘Steve 2.0,’ and that he could never deliver Mr Jobs’s Hollywood-style press conferences,” Ayres writes.
Full article here.
Pardon us if we’re not shocked with the amazingly unique prescience of Ayres et al.:
Leading Apple is a very tricky proposition. Only one man so far has pulled it off successfully. Twice. The key ingredients seem to be a quest for perfection, a passion for the technology and the company, and the ability to relate Apple’s ideas to the world with style. Jobs is truly the charismatic force that propels Apple forward in the face of tremendous odds.
Right now, it looks like Apple’s best hope, and a very good one at that, is Jonathan Ive, Apple’s Vice President of Industrial Design… He seems to work well with the engineers responsible for the hardware. He is obviously a meticulous genius. And he has “that certain something” which, importantly, comes across on camera and in person. Whether he has the extremely rare “vision thing” that Jobs possesses; well, that’s still an open question.
Watch Ive in the Power Mac G5 intro video. Ive first appears about 40% in, at the 2:50 mark of the 6:33 minute video. Note that he is almost wearing a black mock turtleneck already. Contrast his presentation style and enthusiasm with the other Apple presenters. Can you sense the almost Jobsian, call it Junior Jobsian, aura? Ive has “it” while all of the other Apple employees in the video are just nice people talking about a computer. And Ive should only get better with time. Could we be watching Steve Jobs’ successor, Apple’s future CEO, in the 31-year-old Ive?
Jonathan Ive, Apple Computer CEO circa 2025. It has a pretty nice ring to it, doesn’t it? You heard it here first. I think Mr. Ive could pull it off. And I think Jobs thinks so, too; in about twenty years… – SteveJack, MacDailyNews, “What happens when Steve Jobs dies?” – August 20, 2003