The former Chief Design Officer had worked on Apple projects with his new company LoveFrom. According to reports, that should now be over.
Apple is no longer working directly with his former design chief Jony Ive. A consulting contract that has existed since 2019 is now set to expire, reports the New York Times – although the company had actually announced that it would be working “for a long time” with the British designer, who was once so influential for Apple.
Long-term cooperation planned – actually
Jonathan “Jony” Ive had a say at Apple for decades and shaped the look and function of all important products from the classic iMac to the iPod to the iPhone and Apple Watch – mostly in close cooperation with Steve Jobs, who passed away in 2011. In recent years, Ive’s department has also been responsible for Look & Feel the software responsible. His most recent position was that of Chief Design Officer, a role he then ended in November 2019. After that, the cooperation continued: Apple commissioned Ive’s newly founded design company LoveFrom, which is said to have been involved in the iMac M1, among other things.
A book had leaked out why there was disagreement between Ive and the Steve Jobs company. Successor Tim Cook is said to have come. Thus, after Jobs’ death, Ive never worked as closely as he did before. The designer is said to have on several occasions lamented a rise in the ranks of Apple’s “accountants,” most notably Tim Cook, whose manufacturing planning and logistics skills were vital to Apple given the company’s massive growth. In the meantime, the company was the most valuable company on the world stock exchanges.
Ive wanted freedom, to pay Apple less money
But now the official separation between Apple and Ive has been initiated, whose LoveFrom today, among other things, for the vacation home rental company Airbnb. As the New York Times writes, Ive is ending more than 30 years of service at Apple. LoveFrom previously had a multi-year, more than $100 million deal with Apple. Apple was the most important customer. This in turn meant that Ive was not allowed to accept certain other customers – if Apple saw this as a competitor. It was therefore important to Apple that Ive also help shape new products such as the future mixed reality headset.
The contract is said to have been about to be extended in the past few weeks. But both parties decided not to do this. According to the New York Times, Apple managers are said to have questioned how much money they pay Ive. There was also frustration because Apple employees had switched to LoveFrom. Ive, in turn, wanted the freedom to accept any customer without requiring Apple’s approval.
No comment from Apple or Ive
Neither Ive nor Apple wanted to comment on the report. At Apple, nothing should change as a result of the end of the collaboration. COO Jeff Williams continues to oversee the industrial design team led by Evans Hankey (hardware) and Alan Dye (software). The product marketing under the global marketing boss Greg Joswiak is now formative, it was said. LoveFrom, in turn, continues to work with other clients such as Airbnb and Ferrari. Among other things, Ive personally works for the non-profit eco-initiative Sustainable Markets, which Prince Charles founded.
Apple had announced in 2019 that they were pleased “that our relationship [with Jony] is developing”. The durability of this relationship was emphasized by CEO Tim Cook. But as early as 2015, Ive is said to have actually planned to leave Apple after being “exhausted” from the hard work on the Apple Watch – especially with regard to consensus building within Apple. Since then, Ive has been working part-time – criticism quickly arose that he was said to have withdrawn more and more from day-to-day business.