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You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Tech News > Jony Ive promoted to Chief Design Officer at Apple

Jony Ive promoted to Chief Design Officer at Apple
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NewsPoster
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May 26, 2015, 10:34 AM
 
Jony Ive has received a promotion at Apple, from his position as Senior Vice President of Design to the newly-created Chief Design Officer. The move to the company's third C-level executive, alongside CFO Luca Maestri and CEO Tim Cook, will allow Ive to delegate his existing roles to other long-standing Apple employees while still exercising creative control, without the added work of administration and management.

The Telegraph reveals that Richard Howarth will be taking over as the Vice President of Industrial Design, while Alan Dye will be in control of the User Interface arm, with each reporting to Ive. Speaking to Stephen Fry, Ive advised the role would allow him to think more freely, as well as requiring him to travel more, examining the company's retail empire.



Howarth has been working as part of the Design team at Apple for two decades, contributing to the design of the iPhone, Mac, and many other Apple products. Dye has been on Apple's Marcom team for the last nine years, helped Ive create the UI team, and worked on projects including iOS 7, iOS 8, and the Apple Watch.

In an internal memo received by 9to5mac, Cook announced to his staff the appointment of Ive to the Chief Design Officer role. "Jony is one of the most talented and accomplished designers of his generation, with an astonishing 5,000 design and utility patents to his name," writes Cook. "Design is one of the most important ways we communicate with our customers, and our reputation for world-class design differentiates Apple from every other company in the world. As Chief Design Officer, Jony will remain responsible for all of our design, focusing entirely on current design projects, new ideas and future initiatives."

Cook advises that the day-to-day managerial responsibilities for Industrial Design and User Interfaces will be handed over to their new heads on July 1.
( Last edited by NewsPoster; May 26, 2015 at 02:36 PM. )
     
Grendelmon
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May 26, 2015, 10:59 AM
 
Wonderful... an executive position that will reinforce their obsession of form over function. When are they going to create a "Chief Fashion Officer" ?
     
climacs
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May 26, 2015, 01:45 PM
 
if you don't understand Ive's importance to Apple then you don't understand Apple at all.
     
robttwo
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May 26, 2015, 04:48 PM
 
@grendelmon Maybe they can find a position for you, as Chief Idiot Officer. Seriously?
And by the way, when it comes to objects that people use—form is function.
     
mac_in_tosh
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May 26, 2015, 06:23 PM
 
I agree with Grendelmon: form, especially the obsession with thinner and lighter, as well as sealing everything up so the user can't get at parts that he might normally want to replace/upgrade (like, you know, a battery) does not always equate to function.
     
Steve Wilkinson
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May 27, 2015, 01:18 AM
 
Apple does an excellent job at form AND function... except for when they don't. (They did historically, anyway!). And, while I'm not in total agreement with Grendelmon, he/she has a point. Apple has abandoned far too much of their hard-earned historical UI knowledge in the last few years, IMO, primarily chasing after silly trends and, yes, fashion. If they keep that up, they aren't going to retain the industry leadership position they now enjoy.
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cgWerks | TilledSoil.org
     
JEB
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May 27, 2015, 04:39 AM
 
Ummm... He's just now being named that?
'Simplify. Simplify.' --Thoreau
     
mac_in_tosh
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May 27, 2015, 08:43 AM
 
<Ummm... He's just now being named that?> Maybe because Jobs took too much credit for his ideas.
     
besson3c
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May 28, 2015, 08:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by climacs View Post
if you don't understand Ive's importance to Apple then you don't understand Apple at all.
It is silly of us to pretend like we understand the role of any employee.
     
climacs
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May 28, 2015, 12:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
It is silly of us to pretend like we understand the role of any employee.

huh? Seriously... here of all places, nobody should have to have explained to them the important role Ive has had in Apple's renaissance. The iMac for example. Such a simple idea, and yet the beige box PC makers would have never changed their ways of churning out cheap, identical beige boxes in their race to the bottom. Apple's renaissance is due to several factors, of course, but one of the surely is the marriage of form AND function. For far too long the PC hardware industry was run by arrogant engineers possessed of the notion that anybody who couldn't handle a command-line prompt was too stupid to deserve to own a computer. So, Apple ate their lunch and to this day PC/Android fanbois spit on anybody who might like to own tech devices that are attractive as well as functional, while Apple continues to rake in the bucks. How long do you think someone who says, "anyone who can't do their own tune-ups doesn't deserve to own a car" would last at an automaker? Automobiles have married form and function for decades, yet this was a foreign notion to PC makers. Jobs and Ive et al were brilliant but they also benefitted quite a bit from the utter cluelessness of their competitors.
     
Grendelmon
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May 28, 2015, 01:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by climacs View Post
huh? Seriously... here of all places, nobody should have to have explained to them the important role Ive has had in Apple's renaissance. The iMac for example. Such a simple idea, and yet the beige box PC makers would have never changed their ways of churning out cheap, identical beige boxes in their race to the bottom. Apple's renaissance is due to several factors, of course, but one of the surely is the marriage of form AND function..
That was almost 20 years ago. That was also when Macintosh computers had absolutely no market share. Mobile smart devices did not exist. Comparing the original iMac to today's generation of Macs, MacBooks and Airs is off the wall. Back then, their design was a harmonious marriage of form and function. That is absolutely NOT the case today. It contradicts their philosophy of planned obsolescence. When your market is saturated, how exactly do you sell new product iterations again? And again? And again? Bingo.
     
mac_in_tosh
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May 28, 2015, 09:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by climacs View Post
For far too long the PC hardware industry was run by arrogant engineers possessed of the notion that anybody who couldn't handle a command-line prompt was too stupid to deserve to own a computer.
And Apple is run by people possessed of the notion that anybody who owns a computer is too stupid to open it up to do minimal procedures, like, you know, changing a battery.

Notice I don't attribute this to Apple engineers. I'm sure a good engineer would want to put a little door at the back of the iMac so the user could swap the hard drive instead of having to go through the front display. It's Ives/Jobs that probably nixed that crazy idea so the machine could look as sleek as possible.
     
besson3c
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May 28, 2015, 11:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by climacs View Post
huh? Seriously... here of all places, nobody should have to have explained to them the important role Ive has had in Apple's renaissance. The iMac for example. Such a simple idea, and yet the beige box PC makers would have never changed their ways of churning out cheap, identical beige boxes in their race to the bottom. Apple's renaissance is due to several factors, of course, but one of the surely is the marriage of form AND function. For far too long the PC hardware industry was run by arrogant engineers possessed of the notion that anybody who couldn't handle a command-line prompt was too stupid to deserve to own a computer. So, Apple ate their lunch and to this day PC/Android fanbois spit on anybody who might like to own tech devices that are attractive as well as functional, while Apple continues to rake in the bucks. How long do you think someone who says, "anyone who can't do their own tune-ups doesn't deserve to own a car" would last at an automaker? Automobiles have married form and function for decades, yet this was a foreign notion to PC makers. Jobs and Ive et al were brilliant but they also benefitted quite a bit from the utter cluelessness of their competitors.
This is just lore that is being mistaken as reality.

The reality could be exactly as you think it is, but we don't know this, that's my point. In an engineering company like Apple the performance and abilities of individuals is not really all that important because it has been proven that what engineers can accomplish as a team is something like 400x more efficient than these same individuals working on a task independently without communicating with each other.

Therefore, it is certainly accurate to say that Ive led some great teams, but it is simply inaccurate to give all the credit to one individual when that individual simply could not accomplish these things alone.

Moreover, with this sort of lore comes a lot of gushing narrative used to sell that story. Look at a documentary of a musician or band, and by the end you'd think that that person was Jesus. The truth is usually somewhere in between the gushing and extreme downplaying. Maybe that person was a jerk. Maybe that narrative was bullshit. Maybe it was exaggerated. Maybe lots of things.

Trying to create narratives out of individuals in group efforts is not something you should take to the bank.
     
dmwalsh568
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Jun 2, 2015, 12:57 PM
 
Want a recent example? The new Retina MacBook with USB-C. The SSD is soldered to the logic board, so if your machine fails there is no hope of data recovery. Why did they do this? All I can assume is to save maybe half a millimeter that a connector and SSD card would have cost.

Of course most folks won't care, unless it directly impacts them, but by then it's too late.
     
   
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