Juli Clover for MacRumors:
Apple Chief Design Officer Jony Ive is once again taking over management of the design team at Apple according to changes made to Apple’s official “Apple Leadership” website.
The site was updated this morning to remove the profiles of Richard Howarth and Alan Dye, who were managing the day-to-day operations at Apple while Ive oversaw all of Apple’s design projects, and Bloomberg has confirmed that Ive is once again in direct control of the team as shared by Mark Gurman.
Ive first stepped back from day-to-day management of Apple’s design teams in 2015, when he took on the role of “Chief Design Officer.” Alan Dye and Richard Howarth were elevated to vice president positions at that time, with Howarth responsible for industrial design and Dye responsible for user interface design.
There is one of two stories here. Either Apple is executing a plan long in the making now that Jony is done with the new campus and retail makeover (most likely), or this is a reactive measure to something bigger.
In the case for something bigger: Apple makes polarizing decisions, but none have been more divisive than ones introduced in the past few years (largely dealing with MacBook), such as:
- MacBook Pro Touch Bar
- MacBook Pro butterfly keys 1
- MacBook: Lack of ports (only USB-C)
- iPhone X: the TrueDepth camera notch
Although Jony has no doubt been engaged with all these hardware and software design changes, his attention has absolutely been elsewhere. Also, let’s not get software design confused with software engineering — a sensitive area for Apple as of late with multiple widespread bugs. We can argue the software design of Apple’s systems all day, but the area needing more attention right now is hardware design.
Either way, I’m more interested to see what exactly has happened to Alan Dye and Richard Howarth.
Updated on 12/8 at 1:26 PM:
Bloomberg’s piece includes this predictable statement from Apple:
“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,” Amy Bessette, a company spokeswoman, said Friday in a statement.
- Finally took my 2016 MacBook Pro in to the Apple Store this past week for the ‘sticky’ keys problem. ↩