Earlier today, it was revealed that Jony Ive will now hold the position of “Chief Design Officer”. As part of this change, Ive will continue overseeing design aspects of numerous projects within the company, however he will turn over the day-to-day management of the design teams to Richard Howarth and Alan Dye, who have bene promoted to to vice president positions.
The news was first broken by Stephen Fry in his article for The Telegraph. To me this change is rather reminiscent of Ive being assigned leadership of the Human Interface department, on top of the Industrial Design department, a couple of years back. That change was an expansion in responsibilities for Ive, who previously only focused on physical devices. Human Interface on the other hand dealt more with the images, interactions, sounds, flow and feel of the software. Similarly, under his new title, Ive will not just look at design aspects of Apple’s software and hardware, but also other aspects of Apple’s business. The several hundred retail stores across the world come to mind, so does Apple’s upcoming Apple 2 Campus.
Here’s the email from Apple CEO Tim Cook –
I have exciting news to share with you today. I am happy to announce that Jony Ive is being promoted to the newly created position of Chief Design Officer at Apple.
Jony is one of the most talented and accomplished designers of his generation, with an astonishing 5000 design and utility patents to his name. His new role is a reflection of the scope of work he has been doing at Apple for some time. Jony’s design responsibilities have expanded from hardware and, more recently, software UI to the look and feel of Apple retail stores, our new campus in Cupertino, product packaging and many other parts of our company.
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. On July 1, he will hand off his day-to-day managerial responsibilities of ID and UI to Richard Howarth, our new vice president of Industrial Design, and Alan Dye, our new vice president of User Interface Design.
Richard, Alan and Jony have been working together as colleagues and friends for many years. Richard has been a member of the Design team for two decades, and in that time he has been a key contributor to the design of each generation of iPhone, Mac, and practically every other Apple product. Alan started at Apple nine years ago on the Marcom team, and helped Jony build the UI team which collaborated with ID, Software Engineering and countless other groups on groundbreaking projects like iOS 7, iOS 8 and Apple Watch.
Please join me in congratulating these three exceptionally talented designers on their new roles at Apple.