Jony Ive, Apple’s Chief Design Officer, will once again take over management of Apple’s design team. Ive has been working in this role since 2015, when he was given the responsibility of day-to-day management at the company as Apple was building its new Apple Park headquarters in Cupertino, California.
“With the completion of Apple Park, Apple’s design leaders and teams are again reporting directly to Jony Ive, who remains focused purely on design,” said Amy Bessette, a company spokeswoman on Friday.
During the time when Ive was involved in designing Apple’s “spaceship” campus, the daily management of the company’s hardware and software design teams were led by Alan Dye and Richard Howarth, who report directly to CEO Tim Cook. With Ive assuming his former role, Dye and Howarth are no longer listed on Apple’s leadership page.
Ive took charge of Apple’s design team in 1996, before Apple co-founder Steve Jobs returned to the company while it was on the brink of bankruptcy. Over recent decades, Ive’s plans—from the first iMac desktop PC in 1998 to the main iPod in 2001 and the iPad in 2010—have been important factors in Apple’s development into the world’s most profitable public company. In 2012 one year after Tim Cook became CEO, Ive was placed in charge of software design as well.
This movement at an executive level comes during a crucial time for Apple, which is currently having a tough time living up to its reputation for top-tier hardware and software design. Some of its products have caught unwanted attention due to their design choices like the way its pencils and mice charge, the lack of ports in the MacBook, and of course, the infamous iPhone X notch that cuts a hole in the top of the full screen display.
Despite of these challenges, Ive’s return to the design team indicates that Apple is on the way to rectifying the situation.