Jony Ive promoted to ‘Chief Design Officer’

Tim Cook has announced to Apple employees regarding promotions for Jony Ive, Richard Howarth, and Alan Dye. Via 9to5Mac, here it is, verbatim:

Team,

I have exciting news to share with you today. I am happy to announce that Jony Ive is being promoted to the newly created position of Chief Design Officer at Apple.

Jony is one of the most talented and accomplished designers of his generation, with an astonishing 5000 design and utility patents to his name. His new role is a reflection of the scope of work he has been doing at Apple for some time. Jony’s design responsibilities have expanded from hardware and, more recently, software UI to the look and feel of Apple retail stores, our new campus in Cupertino, product packaging and many other parts of our company.

Design is one of the most important ways we communicate with our customers, and our reputation for world-class design differentiates Apple from every other company in the world. As Chief Design Officer, Jony will remain responsible for all of our design, focusing entirely on current design projects, new ideas and future initiatives. On July 1, he will hand off his day-to-day managerial responsibilities of ID and UI to Richard Howarth, our new vice president of Industrial Design, and Alan Dye, our new vice president of User Interface Design.

Richard, Alan and Jony have been working together as colleagues and friends for many years. Richard has been a member of the Design team for two decades, and in that time he has been a key contributor to the design of each generation of iPhone, Mac, and practically every other Apple product. Alan started at Apple nine years ago on the Marcom team, and helped Jony build the UI team which collaborated with ID, Software Engineering and countless other groups on groundbreaking projects like iOS 7, iOS 8 and Apple Watch.

Please join me in congratulating these three exceptionally talented designers on their new roles at Apple.

Tim

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Congrats to all, but it’s funny that Tim thinks he gave Jony a “promotion.” What Jony wants, Jony gets.

The fact is that Apple without Jony Ive is worse off than Apple without Tim Cook.  Tim Cook is easier to replace than Jony Ive.

Steve Jobs called Jonathan Ive his ‘spiritual partner’ at Apple. He told his biographer Walter Isaacson that Ive had ‘more operation power’ at Apple than anyone besides Jobs himself — that there’s no one at the company who can tell Ive what to do. That, Jobs said, is “the way I set it up.”

Related article:
Jony Ive is the most powerful person at Apple – December 12, 2014
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

58 Comments

        1. Reads like a fluff piece just self-reinforcing Ben Thompson’s admiration of Cook above all else. Thompson imagines that Cook is making a brilliant decision, but nobody knows. The creation of more overhead is never a great idea for a company. Seems like the Apple executive office is becoming just as chummy as other stagnant corporations have been — nobody like Forstall there to provide counterpoint or difference of opinion. Ive, his deputies, and Ahrendts have all been undermining Apple software quality, hardware versatility, and retail customer experience. From a software perspective, Apple hasn’t released any fundamentally more efficient or superior system compared to the competition. The current GUIs suck. Apple Services are more limited and provide less value than the competition (and that goes for practically everything from Beats headphones to iCloud to dumbed-down freeware and the mess that isiTunes).

          Cook doesn’t seem to understand that different ideas would keep the company vibrant. He’s surrounding himself in his donut office with people who think that flat ugly grayness is attractive, that disposable non-upgradeable hardware is important, and usability of the Mac is less important than having a bulbous attention-grabber on your wrist is really cool. no thanks.

  1. It is a good move, having fresh people with fresh and better ideas.. Everything Jony has done after iPhone 4s have been incremental nothing spectacular, his iOS 7 and later rainbow OS’s is probably the ugliest of all OS. I feel as if I hit a truck and am seeing stars everytime I switch on my iPhone / iPad.
    Here for some better days.

  2. This is tragic news, because it is ego food for Jony Ive. If hardware were physics, he’d be Einstein. If software were music, he’d be a lounge singer. Even the fans of the garish UI of iOS and OS X have to admit that his UI stylings are at best controversial.

    Fortunately there is cDock, YosemiteRevert, and Flavours to fix Yosemite’s Tiger dock, change the symbols back to icons, and to change the word to buttons and repair the windows. Together, they make OS X Yosemite breathtakingly beautiful.

    Will the successor to OS X Yosemite Sam be OS X Yogi Bear? Probably. But at least we have the way to fix it. I never thought I’d see the day when Linux looked better than OS X, but here we are.

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