Longtime Apple Design Chief Sir Jony Ive is set to depart the company later this year to start his own independent design firm, Apple announced in a press release on Thursday.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement that he looks forward to working with Ive “long into the future.”
Ive first joined Apple in 1992 and eventually became the senior vice president of industrial design in 1997. Since then, Ive was instrumental in overseeing the design on a variety of Apple’s most important products — from the iPod to the iPhone.
But it wasn’t just Apple’s physical products that Ive had a hand in designing. He also helped design the physical Apple Park headquarters, and he’s overseen the user interface on Apple’s operating systems.
For his part, Ive said one of his proudest accomplishments at Apple is the design team he spearheaded — and the overall design process at the Cupertino tech giant.
“After nearly 30 years and countless projects, I am most proud of the lasting work we have done to create a design team, process and culture at Apple that is without peer,” Ive said.
As far as what happens to Apple’s design team now, the company said that VP of Industrial Design Evans Hankey and VP of Human Interface Design Alan Dye will play “key leadership roles” going forward. They will both report directly to Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer.
Williams, who was instrumental in leading development of the Apple Watch, will “spend more of his time working with the design team in their studio.”
“I have the utmost confidence in my designer colleagues at Apple, who remain my closest friends, and I look forward to working with them for many years to come,” Ive said.
It isn’t clear when exactly Jony
“Jony is a singular figure in the design world and his role in Apple’s revival cannot be overstated,” Cook said in a statement.