Since former Apple design chief Jony Ive left Apple in 2019, he has continued to work for the company as a consultant through his LoveFrom design firm, but the partnership between Apple and Ive is now over, according to The New York Times.
Apple and Ive agreed to stop working together, ending a more than 30-year relationship. Ive has been responsible for some of Apple’s biggest products, designing the iPhone, Apple Watch, Macs, Apple retail stores, and more.
Ive announced his departure from Apple in June 2019, with the goal of creating his own design firm. At the time, Ive said that Apple would be one of his primary clients, with Ive continuing to do design work. Since then, Ive has worked on the 24-inch iMac and other products, plus he has provided guidance on the Apple Car design.
When Ive left Apple, Apple signed a multiyear contract with him that was valued at more than $100 million. Under the terms, Apple was LoveFrom’s primary client, but the deal restricted Ive from working on projects that Apple felt were competitive.
Ive and Apple were set to renew the contract, but they decided not to extend it. Apple executives reportedly questioned how much Apple was paying Ive, and were also said to be frustrated that Apple designers were leaving for LoveFrom. Ive, meanwhile, wanted the freedom to choose his own clients without clearing his work with Apple.
Rumors have indicated that Ive left Apple because he became dispirited after the launch of the Apple Watch, with Ive reportedly feeling discontent as Apple was becoming less design focused and more focused on operations. Ive is said to have felt that Cook had little interest in the product development process, and he was allegedly frustrated that Apple’s board was populated with directors with backgrounds in finance and operations rather than technology.
Since Ive’s departure, Jeff Williams has been overseeing the Apple design teams, and will continue to do so. Industrial design continues to be led by Evans Hankey, and software design is led by Alan Dye. Apple marketing chief Greg Joswiak is also said to have a central role in product design choices.