Jony Ive and Bono (NYT 001)

According to an internal memo CEO Tim Cook sent to Apple employees on Monday, Jonathan Ive, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Design, has been promoted to a brand new role: Chief Design Officer.

According to the memo, a copy of which was obtained by 9to5Mac, Apple has also appointed Richard Howarth, who has been part of the iPhone team from the onset, its new Vice President of Industrial Design in charge of hardware design.

Human Interface chief Alan Dye has received a promotion, too. He is now Apple’s new Vice President of User Interface Design in charge of both desktop and mobile user interface experiences.

In addition to his hardware and software design achievements, the memo credits Ive with being responsible for “the look and feel of Apple retail stores, our new campus in Cupertino, product packaging and many other parts of our company.”

The Chief Design Officer role was created specifically for Ive, Cook said.

The London-born designer will still oversee hardware and software design across the company, but will hand off day-to-day managerial duties to Howarth and Dye starting June 1.

Ive will remain responsible for all of Apple’s design, “focusing entirely on current design projects, new ideas and future initiatives.”

To me, this is an acknowledgment of just how powerful and important the introverted designer has become to Apple. If I were speculating, I’d say that Apple has begun grooming its next CEO.

According to a wide-ranging profile of Ive, published in The New Yorker’s February 2015 issue, the Apple Watch was purely Ive’s baby. That’s why seeing his role expand with today’s promotion is very exciting—especially regarding those “new ideas and future initiatives.”

Here’s Tim Cook’s memo to employees:


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.


Source: 9to5Mac

  • Supafly_Boy

    This is terrible news! Not so much on the hardware side, but on software. Alan Dye is a horrific UI designer, and had a major hand in how ugly iOS 7 & 8 turned out to be (those icons still make my eyes bleed). I wish Apple had Matias Duarte running their UI design. Android Lollipop is gorgeous and unfortunately Apple have lost the crown in terms of design to the guys at Google. Sad but true.

    • Liam Whiteley

      True to you, not true to me.

      When I now look back at iOS 6, I definitely see how ageing its design was. It is really only when you look back that you see how much iOS 7 and 8 has changed, and I really do feel it was in the better of ways.

      • Supafly_Boy

        I agree with you on the age of ios6, it was showing its age and needed updating. Unfortunately Apple threw the baby out with the bath water, and went too far in flattenin the UI.

        The colour palette makes my eyes bleed, the use of iconography is piss poor and amateurish, and the typography tries its best to mimic the old Bauhaus masters and fails miserably.

        Great news for Jony getting promoted, but it’s a sad day for iOS users now that Alan Dye has more control.

      • Liam Whiteley

        For me the colours they use are coherent with the design. I don’t see your problem with them or how possibly it could make your eyes bleed (metaphorically).

        The typography is perfectly fine, much clearer than all other operating systems out there. Plus it has near to no similarity to Bauhaus Masters.
        However, I know that they may be changing the font to their own San Francisco font used in the Apple Watch.

        ” the use of iconography is piss poor and amateurish” Seriously, what is up with with your hate on the design. If you have a better idea, why don’t you show us some of your designs. Just compare the iconography to ones in other operating systems. The iconography in iOS easily shows users what it is trying to represent in a clear simple way. I’ve seen many icons that try and do the same job in other OS’, but are just cluttered or either misrepresenting what it actually trying to show. Show an elder an iOS icon and I bet they will have a decent guess at what it is trying to represent.

        I really don’t see your hate on the Apple design language. Mainly because I just can’t see any explanation for your statements.

      • Supafly_Boy

        This is what iOS icons should look like. This is my take on it.

      • Byambaa

        Camera looks bit off, other than that it looks much better than default ios7, 8. btw, which theme is it? am i seeing drop shadow of the icons?

      • Supafly_Boy

        The cameras actually one of my faves, lol. It’s not a theme, they’re custom made by my self. I ssh’d into the file system and replaced the default icons.

      • Dhoklastellar Fafda®™

        Brilliant work, wish you’d drop this in the main repo.

      • Supafly_Boy

        Thanks, I might consider that one day.

      • Supafly_Boy

        And yes, there are shadows underneath. I used 7 shaders for that.

      • Byambaa

        Thanks dude. instant apply. at least mine will have shadows 😀

      • Dhoklastellar Fafda®™

        whats 7 shaders?

      • Supafly_Boy

        7 shaders is a tweak the lets you add shadows to iOS icons. Pretty cool tweak, can’t believe Apple let iOS 7 ship without them. Another design oversight by Jony Ive and Alan Dye.

      • Dhoklastellar Fafda®™

        K installing this.

      • Dhoklastellar Fafda®™

        Which theme is this? Looks gorgeous!

      • Supafly_Boy

        No theme, these are custom made.

    • mrgerbik

      Doofus iTurds spending so much energy debating UI elements, font sizes and icon colors. Sigh… human beings are becoming useless tits.

      • Merman123

        Says a lot of you to take the time to point it out. What’s that make you?

      • mrgerbik

        Spent little energy pointing it out

      • Tommy Gumbs


    • Alberto Espinal

      What are you talking about? When  went flat on their UI everyone including Google when that way!!

      • AMB_07

        Android’s UI was already flat, so was Windows 8…

      • Liam Whiteley

        Yes, before iOS 7 there were elements of android which had a flat design. However, there was no coherent or consistent design language shown at all. Only really until android lollipop came out in which Google’s material design was released, was any of this shown. And, this was after Apple released iOS 7 which employed this design throughout the whole OS.

        Yes, windows 8 is flat, but really not in the same sense. Both iOS and android have a slightly muted flat design, whereas windows 8 has a very solid/plain flat type. It is hard to describe, but in both android and iOS there is not just flat, but also transparency, gradients, shading, slight skeuomorphism. Windows uses block colours in a very uniform style.

    • Dhoklastellar Fafda®™

      I don’t want to have what you’re smoking. Have a look at this


  • Alberto Espinal

    Well deserved!!

  • Fits really well with that spanish Apple engineer’s story of the new MacBook (an overpriced joke)…coincidence?

    • Tommy Gumbs

      The only thing that is newsworthy is video…again and again and again.

    • Dhoklastellar Fafda®™

      Are you aware that Jony has 5000 design patents to his name?

  • Mohammed Khaled

    What about the funny man. Mr. Craig Federighi.

  • christophsullivan

    Is no one going to talk about Jony Ive’s face in that photo? It’s hilarious.