Apple’s famous design team now has no original members left

“Recent departures from Apple’s Industrial Design group mean that no one remains from the original group that began to turn around Apple’s fortunes,” William Gallagher reports for AppleInsider. “And, only two members who joined a year later are still with Apple — although one of those is Jony Ive.”

“One of the people leaving, Daniele De Iuliis, has been there 28 years and counts the Mac Color Classic among his projects. Rico Zorkendorfer, who appears to have worked on the iPhone and Apple Watch amongst other products, is leaving after 15 years,” Gallagher reports. “And Miklu Silvanto, known for working on the iPhone, AirPods and Apple Watch, has been at Apple for eight years. The fourth person, reportedly leaving shortly, is Julian Honig, and he’s been at Apple since 2010.”

“It’s believed that there are now between 20 and 22 people in ID,” Gallagher reports. “Some jobs in the various design departments are lying open for months. Apple is apparently not getting the quality of applicants it wants, and this year it’s lost four key designers from its most crucial department. Whether the attrition will be a problem remains to be seen.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s simply the natural course of things.

We have incredible new designers — a new generation. What we’ve been able to do the last few decades will continue. The talent is there. — Rico Zorkendorfer, April 2019

Another Apple industrial designer leaves company – May 1, 2019
Significant turnover hits Jony Ive’s famed industrial design team at Apple – April 25, 2019
Steve Jobs left design chief Jonathan Ive ‘more operational power’ than anyone else at Apple – October 21, 2011


  1. As MDN said this is only natural, what’s really shocking is how small their design team is for a company that basically funnels so much of what they do through it. Is this one of the real reasons why they’ve been slow to release new products?

    I’m hoping the designers make a real statement with the new Mac Pro and Display at WWDC this year. It’s a great opportunity to move the Mac design language forward.

    1. That is pure speculation, Rob, unless you can provide evidence to back up your assertion.

      Perhaps they simply ended up with a lot of money because of the rise of AAPL and wanted to try something new? Perhaps they found a fresh challenge or more upward mobility elsewhere? Why would you expect Apple to have zero turnover in its ID group?

      1. Hardware = MacPro = Last update 6 years ago = if you were a designer, would you be excited to go to work with a CEO that hasn’t updated a new important piece to your ecosystem in more than half a decade????????????????? It’s not like Apple has millions of hardware sku’s. It’s not like they don’t have the money to invest into R&D, manufacturing and distribution. Clearly, the leader can not handle more than his focus on the iWatch. I can’t even say he is focused on the iPhone, because he neglected the 4″ size that many WANT, and the fact it also fills the void on a entry price point for people in China and India (and many in other Countries) that don’t/can’s spend a lot of money on a new phone. The amount of MISSES under Tim Cook is amazing; and yet, because the stock is high, many just go about their day. As a major investor in AAPL since 2004, I can tell you.. I would rather see a CEO focused on the company’s COMPLETE vision and not PART of it. I actually think the stock is under-performing it’s true potential because of the misses Tim Cook has allowed under his watch. I can not wait for the day he is replaced as a CEO.

  2. Tim, never mind loosing valuable talent due to complete neglect of your hardware sector.. sometimes talented people actually WANT to work and create, but when you neglect a majority of your hardware sku’s for half a decade, it makes coming to work for some rather un-motivating. I can’t wait for WWDC in June, where you’ll spend a hour in the keynote telling how the new color bands for the iWatch are amazing.. and that the new orange band is REALLY orange… can you please retire and let someone with vision and a realistic timeline run Apple??????????????

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.