After nearly 30 years, Apple announces that its chief design officer, Sir Jony Ive, is leaving the company to start his own design firm. While Apple will be a client of Ive's new company, he will also continue to work closely with the tech juggernaut on various projects.

“Jony is a singular figure in the design world and his role in Apple’s revival cannot be overstated, from 1998’s groundbreaking iMac to the iPhone and the unprecedented ambition of Apple Park, where recently he has been putting so much of his energy and care,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “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. After so many years working closely together, I’m happy that our relationship continues to evolve and I look forward to working with Jony long into the future.”

Apple also informs that design team leaders Evans Hankey, vice president of Industrial Design, and Alan Dye, vice president of Human Interface Design, will now report to Jeff Williams, the company's chief operating officer, in Ive's absence. Having been a part of Apple's design team for many years, Williams has played a pivotal role in the development of the Apple Watch since its inception.

In speaking on his exit from the company, Ive said, “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. Today it is stronger, more vibrant and more talented than at any point in Apple’s history.”

“The team will certainly thrive under the excellent leadership of Evans, Alan and Jeff, who have been among my closest collaborators. I have the utmost confidence in my designer colleagues at Apple, who remain my closest friends, and I look forward to working with them for many years to come,” he went on to add.

Ive is widely regarded as one of the leading industrial designers in the world. During his tenure with Apple, he worked on everything from Macs and the iPod, to the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and beyond. Ive's new company is called LoveFrom, and he will be working alongside fellow designer Marc Newson.

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