Meet Evans Hankey, the first woman to head up Apple’s famous Industrial Design team

Ed Hardy for Cult of Mac:

Jony Ive’s departure from Apple puts Evans Hankey in charge of the Industrial Design team that created everything from the iMac to the iPhone — a position critical to the future of the company. Her new title is VP of Industrial Design.

Jony Ive’s role was so large that that two people will be needed to replace him. Alan Dye will be VP of Human Interface Design, so he’ll be leading the software group.

Hankey has been on the design team for years, and managed their studio. She has more than 300 patents to her name. She’ll be the first woman to take charge of the famous Industrial Design team that shaped so many iconic Apple products.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s design teams remain in very capable hands.

Congrats again to Evans Hankey and Alan Dye!


  1. It’s hard to formulate thoughts on Ive leaving, it’s a historic moment.

    I’ve been a fan of his products for a long time, there’s little doubt he’s a genius, but I’ve also been a critic. Since Job’s (the other half of the design leadership) passing, Jony seems to have lost focus on Apple. It seems that his bubbling talent and influences of his friends like Newson who build furniture and other things turned his attention away from computing products.

    We don’t know the inside story, but some things like even I have blamed him for like over attention to the Campus can be seen from more information was understandable, the Campus was actually his assignment at the time, the day to day product were left to others with the permission of Cook.

    Anyhow the best transition we can hope for is what is happening as Jony Ive continues to have input as Apple his first client.

    All the best to Ive and Apple!

  2. Worries me as Apple seemed to be going backwards as all of his time was spent on the new Apple Camps. Seems after it was built, then things were starting to get back to normal and this WWDC has been the best in a long time. Hopefully the 16″ MacBook Pro rumors are true as well. But now he is leaving and wondering if we will see Apple start to go down hill again? Or maybe it will go up since they aren’t waiting on him for decisions, etc. Who knows!

  3. It’s great to see a woman in charge of one of the leading Industrial Design studios in the world. I would love to see the same attention to detail that Jony had but less obsession with thinness and more focus on function.

    I like how Apple has gone back to having one person in charge of Industrial Design and one in charge of Human Interface Design (Software UI).
    It never sat right with me that Jony was also in charge of software design, he was an Industrial Designer which is completely different discipline. I think this is partly why Apple’s user interface design has become so inconsistent.

    It seriously worries me and I don’t really understand why both these people have to report to an operations guy. I don’t want an operations guy dictating design to designers, this is where things went wrong before with Apple.
    I know Jeff Williams, Evans Hankey and Alan Dye all worked extremely closely with Ive so hopefully the dynamics of their relationship won’t change other than for Ive not being there. Jeff Williams has always come across really well so this may work as long as he doesn’t start overriding design decisions because it doesn’t make operational sense. The Ops guy is there to work out how to deliver design projects, not change design projects to make them easier to deliver.

    It’s this situation that actually leaves me feeling very uncomfortable and not the fact that Jony is leaving. If anyone from the Apple’s executive team is reading this, it’s the fact that Apple is design centred and led that makes it different from everyone else. Your organisational structure needs to reflect this and allow this to happen!

    We probably won’t see the real ramifications of this change for years simply because Apple plans so far ahead. We will see Jony’s influence all over Apple products for another 2-4 years at least.

    1. According to reports Apple has actually been operating with this organisational set up for 4 years or so. So yesterday’s announcement was really revealing or formalising how Apple has really been operating for the last few years and not an actual organisational change.

      To say this is a mess is an understatement. It sounds like Jony hardly worked at Apple and that the Industrial Design group had to actually travel to Jony’s new private studio just to have meetings. Having a design chief who’s not really a design chief is just stupid.

      This may be because Steve left Jony with so much power and freedom at Apple. What Steve didn’t account for is if Jony got bored of Apple. The more I read about this situation the more I think Jony has actually held Apple back the last few years and I think it’s visible in some of the products Apple have released (and not released).

      It’s really poor that Tim Cook doesn’t seem to see this is a problem, he really needs to cut Jony loose and give the Industrial Design group back control. It’s unbelievable the Industrial Design group has been working this way for so long, I feel really sorry for the designers in that group.

    2. “It seriously worries me and I don’t really understand why both these people have to report to an operations guy.”

      In my estimation, it would be that Jeff Williams is likely next Apple CEO and that by having design report to him now, he gets full experience navigating the issues and ethos of this group…so that when he becomes CEO, he’s not just ‘an operations guy’…he is someone who is very close to the people and thinking of the design group.

  4. Thank God. Maybe Apple will get back to function (It just works) over form. I’d rather have a thicker laptop that was upgradable and had more than one type of port, than have the thinnest lightest laptop and have to carry a bag of dongles.

  5. Other people regard having the thinnest lightest laptop as entirely functional for their purposes. That is why companies like Apple offer more than just one model. The MacBook and MacBook Pro meet the expectations of different consumers, with the MacBook Air a compromise between them.

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