Apple's Core Group of Industrial Designers begin reporting directly to COO Jeff Williams until further notice
How does Apple replace the legendary Industrial Designer Jony Ive? Well, they don't. After a brief stint at the helm, Evans Hankey announced back in November 2022 that she was leaving Apple. Three months latter and Apple has decided against naming a new executive to replace its departing top product designer.
According to a Bloomberg report, "a core group of about 20 industrial designers will report to Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. The company will also give larger roles to a group of Apple’s longest-tenured designers.
That group will get larger roles as part of the shift. But Williams decided that none would be named the new head and that the entire team will report to him. That move links Apple’s operations group more closely with design — an arrangement that’s irked some of Apple’s creative staffers. It will also elevate Williams, who is seen as a possible successor to Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook.
Working with Jobs, Ive turned Apple’s design aesthetic into something of a religion. They touted clean lines, simple interfaces and the occasional pop of color — such as the translucent cases on the original iMac.
Several of the company’s industrial designers left for LoveFrom, a design and consulting firm founded by Ive and Marc Newson, who formerly did work for Apple. Still, a number of veteran designers have remained at Apple, including Molly Anderson, Duncan Kerr, Bart Andre, Richard Howarth, Peter Russell-Clarke and Ben Shaffer" – all of whom have shown up on many of Apple's design patents. For more, read the full Bloomberg report.
Considering that it's only been three months since Hankey announced her departure, the door is certainly not closed to a new chief of design being announced at some later date.