Another Legendary Apple Designer is Retiring

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Most Apple fans will recognize the name Sir Jony Ive as being synonymous with some of the company’s most iconic designs. However, Apple’s former Chief Design Officer was only the leader of what became a legendary team.

While Jony Ive was responsible for some of the greatest Apple product designs of the past three decades, his efforts weren’t without a few flops. While Ive was joined at the hip to Steve Jobs for years, he seemed to lose his way a bit after the death of the legendary Apple co-founder deprived him of his “editor.”

However, no man operates in a vacuum, and Ive’s so-called “acolytes” were a big part of what made Apple’s designs so great. One of the most prominent among these was Bart Andre, who joined Apple alongside Jony Ive in 1992 to become one of his top lieutenants.

Now, it seems that this longest-standing member of the Ive team is also leaving the company after nearly 32 years of service.

In a breaking news report, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says sources have told him Bart Andre, a senior industrial designer who joined Apple in 1992, has recently announced his retirement to colleagues.

It’s unclear exactly when Andre will be leaving, but as Gurman notes, his departure will mark the “near-complete turnover” of the old guard that was once led by Jony Ive.

To put Andre’s contributions in perspective, the Apple of 1992 was a very different place than the Apple we know now. Steve Jobs was off doing his thing with Next and Pixar; it would be five more years before he returned to the helm of the company he co-founded in the late seventies.

This means that Bart Andre was involved in the design of everything from the ill-fated Newton and colorful iMac G3 to Apple’s greatest hits like the iPod and iPhone.

“His mark on Apple products is indelible — I see him every day in the details,” said Christopher Stringer, who used to work with Andre at Apple and now runs sound company Syng.


After Jony Ive left Apple in 2019, the design team fractured. Ive’s successor, Evans Hankey, took over for a while, heading up industrial design (e.g., hardware) while Alan Dye handled the software side of things. Both reported to Apple’s Chief Operating Officer, Jeff Williams, which sources told Gurman “rankled some staff” due to the perceived friction between “operations” and “design” and Williams’ unwillingness to let the team spread its wings on more “exploratory projects,” choosing instead to focus on things that would “have an immediate payoff.”

Hankey departed last year, followed by other top designers, including Colin Burns, Shota Aoyagi, and Peter Russell-Clarke. This left Andre as one of the few remaining designers of a bygone era. He reportedly helped to hold the team together but has seemingly decided it’s time to hang up his hat for good.

Interestingly, in addition to being Apple’s longest-serving designer — he’s worked at Apple for longer than even CEO Tim Cook — Bart Andre is also known as one of the biggest holders of Apple patents.

While Andre isn’t technically part of the “exodus” of design talent, as he’s retiring rather than moving elsewhere, only five of the core designers that formed part of Jony Ive’s team of 23 are still with the company. Unsurprisingly, several of the folks who departed Apple have decided to join Ive at his new firm, LoveFrom, which still does some design work for Apple on a consultancy basis but also has its hands in everything from luxury brands to Ferraris, which likely offers more exciting challenges for industrial designers who might prefer to move beyond Apple’s classic glass and aluminum motif.

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