Jonathan Ive led Apple’s product design for decades, from the Technicolor iMac that revived the company’s fortunes in the late ’90s to the softly minimalist iPhone that turned Apple into one of the world’s largest companies.
For nearly half that time, he’s been trying to leave.
As early as 2007, when the chubby original iPhone was first being assembled in Shenzhen, China, Ive, who goes by Jony, was contemplating an early retirement to a 17th century mansion in the west of England, where he could tinker with the occasional luxury product while being close to his family.
The incredible success of the iPhone, combined with the terminal illness of former Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs, forced Ive to put those plans on hold. Instead of disappearing into the countryside, he ascended, succeeding Jobs as Apple’s top product visionary and the enforcer of its unique aesthetic, which seeks to pare away all but what’s essential.
Since 2015, following the debut of the Apple Watch — one of his signature products, especially in its ultra-luxe iterations — Ive had been dialing down his involvement in the company.
MacDailyNews Take: We’re very happy for Jony Ive, who has longed to leave and do what he wants when he wants for quite some time now. Here’s to many happy years designing wonderful things, Jony!