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Jony Ive is Apple's first ever Chief Design Officer

Jony Ive is Apple's first ever Chief Design Officer

The People Behind Apple
May 26, 2015

According to a profile for The Telegraph penned by Stephen Fry, Jony Ive has been promoted and is set to be Apple’s first ever “Chief Design Officer.”

Currently, Ive bears the title of Senior Vice President of Design and he overseas design at all levels at Apple. However, in an internal memo published by 9to5mac, it’s claimed that the move will also see Ive hand “the managerial reins of both the industrial and software design units at Apple over to two new leaders” on July 1:

Richard Howarth will become VP of Industrial Design and focus on hardware. Howarth has been part of the iPhone team since the very first generation of the device was in development.

Alan Dye will now be VP of User Interface Design, which covers both desktop and mobile devices. He was a key player in iOS 7’s major redesign as well as the work on the new Watch OS interface.

Both Howarth and Dye have been profiled separately by Wired and the New Yorker. Through employing the new vice presidents, Ive will reporetedly be afforded more time for “design and travel,” including the design of future retail stores and Apple’s futuristic Campus 2. Tim Cook’s full memo is included below.


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.


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