Jony Ive is the most powerful person at Apple

“In my view, Jony is currently the most powerful person at Apple,” Neil Cybart writes for Above Avalon. “We are currently seeing Jony’s Apple uncurl its wings, and while there are clearly risks involved with Jony holding so much power, in some ways, Jony is filling some of Steve Job’s old role as master collaborator and thinker.”

Cybart writes, “Here’s Steve Jobs on Jony [via Walter Issacson’s biography, Steve Jobs]: ‘The difference that Jony has made, not only at Apple but in the world, is huge. He is a wickedly intelligent person in all ways. He understands business concepts, marketing concepts. He picks stuff up just like that, click. He understands what we do at our core better than anyone. If I had a spiritual partner at Apple, it’s Jony. Jony and I think up most of the products together and then pull others in and say, ‘Hey, what do you think about this?’ He gets the big picture as well as the most infinitesimal details about each product. And he understands that Apple is a product company. He’s not just a designer. That’s why he works directly for me. He has more operational power than anyone else at Apple except me. There’s no one who can tell him what to do, or to butt out. That’s the way I set it up.'”

“On an organizational chart, Tim Cook may indeed be at the top (I have some doubts that is the case, but for simplicity’s sake, I will take what is written on Apple’s leadership page as correct), it is far from given that a company’s CEO is the de facto most powerful employee at that company,” Cybart writes. “Fortunately for Apple, there isn’t much evidence to suggest ‘power’ is an issue between Jony and Tim Cook. Both men are well aware of their involvement in the Apple machine and what would happen if that machine stops working, as seen with the 2012 reorganization.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, Steve Jobs put the right guys in the right places.

Related articles:
Jony Ive hasn’t been given too much power at Apple – because he’s always had it – February 5, 2013
Steve Jobs left design chief Jonathan Ive ‘more operational power’ than anyone else at Apple – October 21, 2011


  1. I am no fan of Jony Ive.
    I remain a fan of Steve Jobs; however, history has repeatedly shown that he wasn’t always the best judge of people (Sculley, Isaacson et al.)
    Dear Steve, you aren’t so easily replaceable, less so by a team, even if they are handpicked by you.

    Jony Ive is playing his hands today, but I suspect he will be found wanting in as early as 2015 and onwards.

    I maintain that it was a mistake to loose Scott Forestall the way they did.

      1. Perhaps one had to go, I content it was one of the biggest blunders of Cooks time at Apple, why he couldn’t manage the talent and find a balance is beyond me. I personally wasn’t there, not privy to the internal fights, but by all accounts Jobs mentored Forstall into what he had become. Scott was instrumental in building Apple into the giant it has become, I thought it was sad and showed a real lack of institutional character to run him out under the excuse of the maps PR struggles.

        I watched people throwing him under the bus at the time and wondered if people realized just what he was to Apple systems and software, and his contributions were HUGE, look up the patents filed with his name on them.

        Contrast OS X under Craig to when Scott was in charge. Under Scott much more stable, much more consistent. This is the guy who basically build Next, he is the father of OS X & iOS and I think his vision and touch is sorely missed at Apple these days, maybe not his personality, but the man was every bit as brilliant, if not more so than Jony, “mr flat” Ive.

    1. I like Yosemite. There is no accounting for personal taste. Everyone has it. But it’s just that, personal. What you like or don’t like doesn’t mean anything beyond that you like or don’t like something. Your circle of influence is pretty small, as is mine. You’d feel less frustrated and more content if you could accept that.

    2. Well, the other option is Windows 7/8 or you can wait for 10. To any Windoes user the experience is so different (not in a good way) that it makes the switch to a Mac easier. Comparatively Yosimite is mighty easy to use.

  2. Tim Cook is the most powerful man at Apple. Another example of a writer needing to make headlines, with no news. Apple is a business that makes products and Jony Ive is the product guy, who is an incredible force. Tim Cooke runs the business, which lets the product guy do what is best. Making money follows great design, function and products that people love. Execution of all the moving parts that makes the company money is the center of power.

  3. Apple is Steve Jobs best innovation of all. A forever enduring company firing on all cylinders because of its company philosophy as well as its people and the way it is structured.
    You Rock Steve!

        1. I tried to incite my granddaughter to join me in throwing our filled trays of inedible gruel against the cafeteria wall and sing “Power To The People.” She only looked at me and said, “Oh, Peepah.”

          1. Now that explains a lot, here I was thinking you were a turrets suffering budding-sociopath and really you are just a cranky old curmudgeon. Explains a lot actually.

            It is telling that you couldn’t put aside your partisan blather to enjoy time with your granddaughter. You chose to bring her down to your level when you could have elevated the situation, that I am not the least bit surprised with.

            Are there any groups of people you don’t hate?

    1. Sadly, Yosemite no longer permits the creation of a secure WiFi network. The security menu option has been removed from the “Create Network…” dialog box that appears when the option at the end of the WiFi menu in Finder is selected.

      Apple have acknowledged this loss of functionality to me.

  4. Jony is phenomenal, if you read the book (called Jony Ive) you’ll understand just how much he has revolutionised manufacturing to a level not seen before in mass produced products.

    He is way more than a designer.

  5. Jonny Ives in his current position has his cake and eats it too. Being CEO would just take him away more from what he loves to do most – design. Tim Cook makes a better showrunner and has benefit of Ives counsel. A win-win.

  6. The flatness is just a question on taste, but the skeumorphism (sp?) sometimes (not all the time) gave useful clues on what to do. For example, with changing functions on the camera app, or setting alarm and event times: the dial effect was more effective than the choices fading away.

  7. Ive was making Beige Boxes before Steve Jobs returned which leads me to think he badly needs an editor with taste. The abomination of iOS7’s flat, skinny, cryptic iconography and changes just for the sake of change pretty much confirms it.

    That and his obsession with sealing up every box apple makes. I am tired of crap that cannot be easily repaired, upgraded or expanded internally.

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