Apple has finally ended its decades-long relationship with its chief design designer Jony Ive, the person behind the look and feel of the iPhone or the MacBook that you use today.
Ive left Apple in 2019 to start an independent design company called LoveFrom. He then looked forward to working with Apple “for many years to come”.
According to The New York Times, Apple has now ended its consulting agreement with Ive.
Apple signed a contract in 2019 with Ive that was valued more than $100 million, though “it restricted Ive from taking on work that Apple found competitive”.
“Ive wanted the freedom to take on clients without needing Apple’s clearance”, according to the report.
Apple COO Jeff Williams will continue to manage the design teams, though the product marketing team has “assumed a central role in product choices”.
British-origin Ive who worked at Apple for almost 30 years in June 2019 announced to move on and decided to form an independent design firm called LoveFrom that would treat Apple as its most prestigious client.
“Ive was a singular figure in the design world and his role in Apple’s revival cannot be overstated, from 1998’s groundbreaking iMac to the iPhone and the unprecedented ambition of Apple Park, where recently he has been putting so much of his energy and care,” Apple CEO Tim Cook had said at that time.
Ive was one of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’ closest friends who considered him as a “spiritual partner”.
He has been the key design figure behind products like the original iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple’s new “spaceship campus”.
Ive’s first design assignment was the iconic iMac in 1998 that helped pave the way for many other designs such as the iPod and eventually the iPhone and the iPad.