Obviously, Jony Ive is preparing to retire from Apple

“Jony Ive, along with Steve Jobs, has long been regarded as part of the soul of Apple.,” Jim Lynch writes for CIO. “His contributions in terms of industrial design and software UI have had a gigantic impact on Apple’s products and the company’s bottom line. It’s not hyperbole to say that Apple would not be what it is today without him.”

“But the recent announcement about Ive being promoted to “Chief Design Officer” makes it clear to me that he is beginning to wind down his career at Apple,” Lynch writes. “The announcement strikes me as a well-oiled public relations machine laying the groundwork for Ive to retire altogether from Apple. But these things must be handled very carefully and professionally, and that is exactly what Apple is doing.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Again, as we wrote yesterday, this is how Apple eases the pressure on Jony while addressing one of their most pressing problems since Steve Jobs was CEO: Succession. Jony Ive is the most important person at Apple. The addition of Marc Newson to Apple’s payroll, in whatever capacity, was one answer to the question. This is the next.

Hopefully, Jony is happy with the new arrangement and continues to have a major hand in Apple’s design direction.

Related articles:
Jony Ive is Apple’s next Steve Jobs – May 27, 2015
What Jony Ive’s ‘promotion’ really means – May 26, 2015
Now Jony Ive will have an even bigger influence over Apple’s image – May 26, 2015
Stephen Fry meets Jony Ive, Apple’s newly-promoted chief design officer – May 26, 2015
Jony Ive gives up day-to-day managerial duties to focus on big picture – May 26, 2015
Jony Ive promoted to ‘Chief Design Officer’ – May 25, 2015
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

39 Comments

  1. There are two actual reasons for this change:

    1. It removes Ive’s from the list of executives whose compensation the SEC could conceivably force Apple to make public.

    2. It removes Ive from a highly public role where he’s expected to make public appearances at events like keynote presentations, with which he’s clearly very uncomfortable. They’ve been relying on recorded speeches by Ive for years, rather than force him to speak live. This solves that problem. His direct reports will be the ones giving those presentations now.

    Aside from that there’s nothing to see here. Ive’s departure is not imminent.

      1. That was an editing error, which is unfortunately not correctable on MDN. It should have read “Ive”, not “Ive’s”. The error was left over from a revision of the comment where it actually read “Ive’s compensation”. Now am I sufficiently clear to satisfy the somewhat benighted who can’t figure out what I meant to say?

    1. As for No. 1, I would say, it would be quite the opposite.

      His previous title was Senior Vice-President of Design; his new one is one of the C_Os (actually, one of just three at Apple, along with Cook and Maestri). If I’m not mistaken, SEC requires C-level executive pay to be publicly disclosed. Not for others.

        1. There was some legal question whether his SVP status mandated that he be treated as an executive officer. The SEC could have pushed that interpretation. There is no question that his new C_O position as described is not an executive officer position.

    2. Well not imminent but planned I suspect even if no end date may have been set. I suspect that the watch was his last big thing and now seems a good time to resist taking on another 5+ year commitment. He can now keep overall control but knows he has two strong figures to take increasing responsibility for projects so he can wind down, spend more time away and with family, but remain a strong influence on things untill he retires altogether from Apple or simply takes an advisory role with only occasional visits. Indeed being a little removed might make his input all the more refreshing as there are only so many years that a hands on designer can keep fresh and Jony has well exceeded that average.

  2. Another piece said he is now free to ponder the blue sky. My gut says it has four wheels. They have cleared the decks for him to focus on the new team required to upend the automobile industry.

    Self driving cars? Pffftttt, Jonny knows the truth, we love the freedom of the road and loathe the notion of robotic cars. His next work will be to Google’s egg what the Watch was to Glass.

    1. I gave you 5 stars. Somebody else finally gets it that most of us DO NOT WANT a self-driving car. We buy BMW, Mercedes, Corvette, Mustang, etc. precisely because we want to be in charge of the experience when on the road. Google’s self driving car already exists as a government subsidized semi-failure. It’s called AmTrak.

    2. I am no fan of Jony Ive. He comes up with superb industrial designs, but his UI stylings are awful. I can’t wait for him to leave so that OS X can be beautiful again. Jony Ive can’t leave Apple soon enough for me.

  3. Lucky him. Preparing for retirement at 48. Most of us will be lucky if we paid off our student loans by then. And it’s obviously so stressful doing the job you dreamed of since you were a little kid. A job one feels they were born to do… and one in which you just happen to get paid hundreds of millions of dollars. The daily grind of mansions and villas, private jets, Bentleys and caviar has worn him down and he must retire before it kills him. Poor Jony.

    1. Before being “discovered” by Steve Jobs in the downtrodden bowels of 1997 Apple Computer, Inc., Jony was far removed from his current position. Jobs put Ive in a position to excel, and Ive made the most of that opportunity. In some ways, Apple made Ive just as much as Ive made Apple.

      Only Apple executives know all of the reasons behind the recent organizational change. But I suspect that one of the major reasons was to keep Jony focused on what he does best by removing him from the day-to-day managerial duties of his previous position. It does not make sense to waste that talent on paperwork and such.

  4. Makes sense to me, because you know, when Tim Cook was “promoted” from Senior Vice President (SVP) of Worldwide Operations to Chief Operating Officer (COO) in 2007, it was obviously because he had one foot out the door and wanted to retire. /s

    Where do these idiots come up with this stuff?

  5. Why on earth would he retire now? Tim Cook just gave him a promotion and C-suite title and took away most of the managerial, paper-pushing aspects of his job. He still owns all of design but can now focus on new products and things he enjoys like being involved in Apple store and Campus 2 designs. It seems to me this promotion is all about keeping Jony from retiring, not pushing him to it.

    1. Why retire? Ive has hundreds of Millions of dollars.

      Second reason: there is just “a little bit of pressure” because if Ive makes a mistake from the category of medium size to a huge mistake, there is hundreds of billions of shareholder equity at stake. One huge mistake in the design of the “next” iPhone and it is over. That’s pressure.

      1. People like Ive (and Jobs) are driven by their passions. They probably enjoy the freedoms provided by significant wealth, but they would do the work anyway. That is their nature. IMO, as long as Apple continues to enable Jony to challenge and evolve his design abilities and push forward into new product territories, he will stay with Apple. The Apple Watch is a great example – how many times could Jony redesign the iPhone and remain satisfied?

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