Design Department Overhauled: Jony Ive’s Last Companions Quit

### Apple’s Design Department Undergoes Major Transformation Following Jony Ive’s Departure

Apple’s design landscape has seen a significant transformation over the past few years, marking a new era since the departure of the iconic designer, Jony Ive. Nearly five years after Ive stepped back from his day-to-day operations at Apple, and two years after the termination of Apple’s partnership with the legendary designer, the company’s product design team has almost entirely moved on from the designers who worked under Ive’s leadership.

One of the latest departures from the company is Bart Andre, a product designer who had been with Apple for three decades and started working with Ive in 1992. With his departure, the core group of 23 product designers responsible for the look and feel of Apple’s products during Ive’s tenure has dwindled, with 18 of them now having left the company, according to Apple observer Mark Gurman.

This wave of departures indicates a significant shift in Apple’s design direction. Under Ive’s stewardship, Apple’s design department was renowned for its influential industrial design across computers, mobile devices, accessories, and even software interfaces. Since Ive left, Jeff Williams, Apple’s Chief Operating Officer, has taken the helm of the design department, indicating a departure from the direct oversight previously provided by the CEO’s office. Williams is also considered a potential successor to CEO Tim Cook, hinting at the strategic importance of design in Apple’s executive leadership.

Post-Ive, Apple appointed Evans Hankey as the head of the hardware design department. Hankey played a pivotal role in shaping the design of the latest MacBook Pro models, which corrected the infamous issues related to the butterfly keyboard mechanism. However, Hankey’s tenure was short-lived, as she stepped down from her position in October 2022 after just three years in the role, leaving the prestigious position unfilled to date, with the reasons behind her departure remaining unclear.

Apple’s design department has been instrumental in establishing the company as a leader in product innovation and aesthetic appeal. The departure of Ive and his closest collaborators signifies the end of an influential design era for Apple. As the company continues to evolve without the direct influence of Ive and his tight-knit team, the tech world is eagerly watching to see how Apple’s design philosophy will adapt. With the design department now under the broader umbrella of operational management, and with key positions remaining unfilled, the future direction of Apple’s product aesthetics and user experience design remains an intriguing topic of speculation and anticipation.

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