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Apple’s former design chief Jony Ive left the iPhone maker burned out and weary in the CEO’s wake Tim Cooks numerous structural changes, an article based on a book about Apple’s transformational claims, with the movie Yesterday becoming part of Ive’s announcement that it would be handed over to his design team.
Jony Ive left Apple in 2019 after spending nearly three decades working for the tech giant on many of its key products. The exit was a shock exit, but one that was inevitable due to a change in culture in the company.
in one New York Times article Based on Tripp Mickle’s book After Steve: How Apple Became a Trillion-Dollar Company and Lost Its Soul, I quit after years of frustration at seeing the company transform from a design-centric entity to a more utilitarian one.
The report begins by emphasizing the relationship between Ive and former CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs, detailing how the icon came to be iMac. Because Ive’s presence was sometimes seen as a relief for Jobs, the two were known to work closely together, with Jobs constantly visiting the company’s design studio.
With the introduction of Cook and the death of Jobs, Ive’s experience at the company had changed significantly. Cook apparently showed less interest in design than Jobs, with far fewer visits to the studio during Apple Watch development.
As I shifted the focus from fashion to fitness for the Apple Watch, I reportedly reached out to Cook because he was tired and planning to go out of business. Disputes with colleagues over promotions and managing hundreds of employees instead of the smaller 20-strong design team also drained Ive significantly.
Fears of Ive’s departure, affecting the stock price, prompted Cook to scale back Ive’s responsibilities and appoint him chief design officer. At the time, very few at Apple seemed to know about Ive’s frustration and burnout.
The changes also seem to have caused me to work differently, going from judging products almost daily to sometimes not judging designs at all for a few weeks.
For the iPhone 10th anniversary, I called software designers to a product meeting at The Battery social club in San Francisco. After not apologizing for the almost three hour delay, I reviewed the printouts and provided feedback, but made no final decisions at this point.
While Ive was seemingly absent, Cook continued to be relocate the company in a new direction, including the appointment of former Boeing CFO James Bell as company director to replace marketer Mickey Drexler. Ive did not support the change, commenting to a colleague: “He’s another one of those accountants”.
Cook’s giving more say to finance also angered Ive, who took to auditing outside contractors.
on Ives decision to leave, the article talks about a night in June 2019 when Ive took his design teams to a cinema for a private screening of Yesterday. The choice of film was appropriate as it was a “two-hour exploration of the perennial conflict between art and commerce,” according to the article.
After the foreshadowing film, Ive said of his teams, “Art needs the right space and support to grow. When you’re really tall, that’s especially important.”
A day later, the design teams were asked to clear their calendars for a meeting with Ive, who informed them that the completion of the new building would be the end of his time with the company. I commended the team and urged them to keep the Apple identity and assured them that he will continue to work through his as a consultant Design company LoveFrom.
Since Ive’s departure and the receipt of a CEO-worthy exit package worth more than $100 million, design at Apple has seemingly taken a back seat, giving feature and performance a back seat. Designers said the lack of Ive has led to greater collaboration with colleagues working in engineering than before, but at the same time they face greater cost pressures in their work.