Apple’s chief design officer Jony Ive has revealed plans to leave the company later this year after nearly 30 years, with plans to start an independent design company.
The British-born industrial designer will continue working with Apple through his new firm, called LoveFrom, according to a statement from the company.
Ive is responsible for Apple’s most prominent products, including the original iMac in 1998, the iPod in 2001, the iPhone in 2007, as well as the iPad in 2010, and the Apple Watch in 2015.
He also worked closely with Foster + Partners on the design of the Apple Park, the company’s $5 billion headquarters in Cupertino, California.
“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 in the statement.
“Today it is stronger, more vibrant and more talented than at any point in Apple's history.”
Little information is currently available about the designer’s new company, however in an interview with the Financial Times, he hinted that Australian designer Marc Newson will be involved in the project.
In addition to Newson – who join Apple in 2014 – the designer added that a “collection of creatives” will also be involved in the venture with “diverse areas of expertise”.
He also said LoveFrom will continue working with Apple as a client.
“There are products that we've been working on for a number of years — I'm beyond excited that I get to continue working on those. And there are some new projects as well that I'll get to develop and contribute to,” told The Financial Times.
“While I will not be an employee, I will still be very involved — I hope for many, many years to come. This just seems like a natural and gentle time to make this change.”
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook commented on Ive’s departure: “Jony is a singular figure in the design world and his role in Apple's revival cannot be overstated, from 1998's ground breaking iMac to the iPhone and the unprecedented ambition of Apple Park, where recently he has been putting so much of his energy and care.”
“Apple will continue to benefit from Jony's talents by working directly with him on exclusive projects, and through the ongoing work of the brilliant and passionate design team he has built.”
Ive also told the newspaper that he has a “moral obligation to be useful”, revealing plans to work in fields of healthcare and wearable technology.