Apple designer Jony Ive has been promoted to Chief Design Officer and will now supervise all of the company’s hardware and UI design initiatives. As of now, there is no clarity on the exact duties of Ive, but in his new capacity, he will apparently look after construction projects, precisely Apple’s Campus 2 and upcoming the Apple stores, says a report from The Telegraph.
Rising clout of Ive
Ive was appointed SVP of Design in 2013, performing dual responsibilities of chief hardware and human interface designer. In a statement to Re/code, Ive stated that he will control both design departments but will primarily focus on Apple’s broader design language after being relieved from regular administrative and management work. Ive added that he will work on current design products, new ideas and future initiatives.
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Apple CEO Tim Cook, commenting on the promotion of Ive, told The Wall Street Journal, “His new role is a reflection of the scope of work he has been doing at Apple for some time.”
With time, Ive has become one of the most popular executives at Apple. He started with hardware, but last year took control of the human interface group, which was previously part of the software division. He saw more responsibilities coming his way after playing a central role in redesigning iOS7, which is the iPhone’s and iPad’s operating system.
After Cook, Ive is the most noticeable executive at Apple. As a confidant of the late Steve Jobs, Ive is said to have a decisive element in product making that helped Jobs return to Apple in 1997. Jobs, in Walter Isaacson’s biography, talked about Ive referring to him as a spiritual partner. Jobs said, “Jony and I think up most of the products together and then pull others in and say, “Hey, what do you think about this?” While talking about Ive, Jobs said that he is not just a designer and has more “operational power” than anyone else except for him.
Other changes at Apple
Another veteran, Richard Howarth, who has been working for Apple for 20 years now, will now look after industrial design. Howarth played a key role in bringing the iPhone into reality from the first prototype to production in 2007.
Also Alan Dye will be Apple’s head of User Interface Design, supervising and designing the ways in which users interact with their Apple devices. Dye has been with Apple for almost a decade now. According to the report, Dye played an important role in designing the Apple Watch user interface.