Jony Ive, Designer of the iPhone, Is Leaving Apple

"Sir Jonathan" will head up a new creative venture. Apple is his first client.

Jonathan Ive
Apple's chief design officer, Jony Ive, is leaving the company. (Paul Harris/ Getty)
Getty Images

The man who took a laptop and a phone and made them the iconic, singular MacBook and iPhone is leaving Apple after more than 20 years with the company.

Jony Ive, or Sir Jonathan, will instead head up a new creative venture of his own, according to the Financial Times. Launching in 2020, Ive is calling his company LoveFrom — and Apple will be his first client.

“While I will not be an [Apple] employee, I will still be very involved — I hope for many, many years to come,” told the FT. “This just seems like a natural and gentle time to make this change.”

The now-former chief design officer was not only the lead on the exterior look of Apple’s instantly recognizable products, he was also the brain behind its user-friendly, easy-to-learn software interfaces. His choice to leave the Silicon Vally giant will “come as a shock to Apple’s investors and customers,” according to the FT, as many people find him to be synonymous with the brand and an irreplaceable part of its future.

But Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, emphasized the company’s team of in-house designers as “the strongest it’s ever been” in an effort to ease fears that products will suddenly look unappealing. Many investors, however, see Ive as even more valuable to the company than Cook, and are nervous for the second half of 2019 after both his and retail chief Angela Ahrendts’s departures. Ahrendts stepped down in April.

There is no one currently lined up to take the reins as Apple’s next head of design.

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