Jonathan "Jony" Ive, Apple's senior vice president of design and an integral part of the company's design team since 1996, has been promoted to the new post of chief design officer, where he will have freer rein to spend his time on product design and forms, rather than also dealing with managerial duties.
Ive's promotion was announced by Apple CEO Tim Cook in an internal email to the company's employees, according to a May 26 report from the BBC. Ive's former managerial duties will be picked up by Apple designer Richard Howarth, who has been promoted to vice president for industrial design and hardware, and by Alan Dye, who will become the vice president of user interface design, according to the report.
Apple had no comment about Ive's new job and responsibilities. Ive did not respond immediately to an email inquiry from eWEEK. He will take over his new role on July 1.
In Cook's email to Apple employees, he called Ive "one of the most talented and accomplished designers of his generation, with an astonishing 5,000 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."
Ive has had a design role inside the company for everything from hardware to software UI to the look and feel of Apple retail stores, as well as to the company's new facilities in Cupertino, Calif., wrote Cook. Ive has also had roles in product packaging design and much more, he wrote.
"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," wrote Cook. "As Chief Design Officer, Jony will remain responsible for all of our design, focusing entirely on current design projects, new ideas and future initiatives."
Howarth has been a member of the Apple design team for two decades and has been a key contributor to the design of each generation of iPhone, Mac and other products, while Dye began at Apple nine years ago on the Marcom team, wrote Cook.
According to his biography on Apple's Website, Ive was born in London and has worked at Apple since 1996. Eventually he rose to become the company's senior vice president of design, reporting directly to Cook. His responsibilities included leading the company's design team and driving the look and feel of Apple's products. He also worked with the Human Interface (HI) software teams across the company. Ive has received numerous design awards for his Apple designs, some of which are included in the permanent collections of museums, including MoMA in New York and the Pompidou in Paris.
Ive earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and an honorary doctorate from Newcastle Polytechnic. In 2003, he was named Designer of the Year by the Design Museum London and awarded the title Royal Designer for Industry by The Royal Society of Arts.