Until now, Ive’s job title has been Senior Vice President of Design. But I can reveal that he has just been promoted and is now Apple’s Chief Design Officer. It is therefore an especially exciting time for him.
Inside the fabled design studio (cloths over the long tables hiding the exciting new prototypes from prying eyes like mine) Jony has two people with him. They too have been promoted as part of Ive’s new role.
In a profile at The Telegraph, Stephen Fry reveals Jony Ive's new role at Apple. Richard Howarth and Alan Dye (both profiled by Wired and The New Yorker earlier this year in their Apple Watch coverage) will report to Jony Ive and become VPs of Industrial Design and Human Interface, respectively. According to an internal memo published by 9to5Mac, the change will be effective starting July 1.
Later in the profile, Stephen Fry asked Ive about his new role:
When I catch up with Ive alone, I ask him why he has seemingly relinquished the two departments that had been so successfully under his control. “Well, I’m still in charge of both,” he says, “I am called Chief Design Officer. Having Alan and Richard in place frees me up from some of the administrative and management work which isn’t … which isn’t …”
“Which isn’t what you were put on this planet to do?”
“Exactly. Those two are as good as it gets. Richard was lead on the iPhone from the start. He saw it all the way through from prototypes to the first model we released. Alan has a genius for human interface design. So much of the Apple Watch’s operating system came from him. With those two in place I can …”
Ive is currently overseeing the design of future Apple retail stores and Apple Campus 2 on top of his existing duties in the Industrial Design and Human Interface groups. It'll be interesting to see what this leadership change will mean for Ive's participation in new Apple products going forward and if the role of Marc Newson (who joined Apple last year) will be altered as well.