The Major Split Apple Just Made

In a surprising turn of events, former Apple design chief Jony Ive has decided to part ways with the company for good.

By Joseph Farago | Published

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Many people who buy Apple products know the critical executives at the company. Most notably, the company’s late founder Steve Jobs is the usual suspect when credited with the tech company’s products and advancements. But a more hidden figure has had a massive role in constructing and designing many of Apple’s signature creations. Jony Ive has been the design chief and a majorly influential executive for the corporation. He saved the company from a financial downfall and influenced Apple’s legendary status. But recently, the head of design has decided to part ways with the company.

On Tuesday, a report detailed Ive’s stepping away as a key figure on Apple’s board. Though this may be surprising to many, Ive leaving the company was almost inevitable. Three years ago, he stepped down as the head of design from the tech giant to start his own company, LoveFrom. Ive wanted to leave the company amicably while still keeping close ties with the design team. Now, it seems like a different outcome has manifested. According to two close sources, Apple and Ive will no longer be working together in any capacity.

Though many are unsure about how and why the disconnect transpired between Apple and Ive, the departure has been a long time coming. Ive has worked under Apple’s design team for over three decades, one of the critical designers of the eye-popping, colorful PCs. Ives was also responsible for the round corners of iPhones and the development of the Apple Watch. As such an influential and integral part of the company, it seems odd that Ive would have a sudden departure. The tech titan has refused the request to comment on the former design chief and the impetus for his resignation.

When Ive created his company LoveFrom in 2019, he still intended to be connected to Apple’s product design. In fact, both companies signed a multi-year contract, making Apple the primary client of Ive’s new firm. Even Apple’s Tim Cook reassured the public that Ive would be working closely with Apple despite him running his own company. One of the issues with the contract, though, was a non-competition clause that allowed Apple to decide who Ive could work with. The tech company could ultimately refuse a LoveFrom client if it supposedly rivaled the tech giant. Though it’s not confirmed, The tech titan’s overarching jurisdiction over Ive’s firm could’ve been the reason for growing frustrations in the partnership.

2022 was the year when Apple and Ive could renegotiate the contract. Both company CEOs agreed not to extend the contract any further. A few Apple executives publicly stated their frustrations with LoveFrom, acknowledging that some of Apple’s design team left to work for Ives. But Ive wanted to control his own company without the tech company’s influence on who should or shouldn’t be hired at his firm. The tension between two authority figures could’ve made it more difficult for Ive to have his company stand independently from the tech behemoth.

Though not much is confirmed yet, it’s clear that some internal issues between the tech titan and Apple’s former design chief Jony Ive led to their professional separation.