Apple and Jony Ive, who Steve Jobs famously described as having “more operational influence than anyone else at Apple except me,” have split ways.
It appears that Ive and Apple have agreed to end their partnership because they were unable to reach an agreement over a contract renewal, according to the New York Times. Ive left Apple in 2019 to form an independent design studio called LoveFrom, but at the time he stated he hoped to work with the company “for many years to come.”
The two-year deal was worth over $100 million, but before Ive could accept any new clients, he had to get Apple’s approval (which included Airbnb). Ive reportedly reacted angrily to it, and other Apple executives were concerned about the size of the contract and the fact that several designers had left to join LoveFrom.
Apple’s iMac was the first product designed by Ive, who converted computers from beige boxes to candy-colored gumdrops with a translucent plastic casing in the late 1990s. He was a key player in the iPod and iPhone design processes and is credited with creating the white earbuds found on the iPod. In addition, he was in charge of overseeing the creation of the Apple Watch.
After Steve Jobs’ death, I’ve reportedly argued with Tim Cook (something Cook has disputed). He began working part-time for the company in 2015 before quitting in order to launch his own business four years later.
In his final and possibly most enduring role at Apple, Jony Ive designed the company’s spaceship-like Cupertino headquarters.