iPhone designer Jony Ive is leaving Apple to set up his own firm, Apple announced on Thursday. A 52-year British industrial designer will depart later this year to form his own design company which will count Apple among its primary clients. As a result, Ive will continue to work closely "on a range of projects with Apple," Apple said in a statement.
"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," said Ive.
PHOTO: Jonathan Ive (left) and Jon Rubinstein, Apple's senior vice president of engineering (right) posing behind five iMac personal computers at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California in 1999 (AP).
PHOTO: Apple CEO Steve Jobs talks about Jonathan Ive at a meeting in Cupertino, California in 2008 (AP)
In Walter Isaacson's 'Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography,' Jobs praised Ive as being his partner in dreaming up devices.
"If I had a spiritual partner at Apple, it's Jony," Jobs was quoted as saying. "Jony and I think up most of the products together and then pull others in and say, 'Hey, what do you think about this?'"
Commenting on Ive's departure, Apple CEO Tim Cook had this to say:
“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 Apple CEO Tim Cook. "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.”
(With agency inputs)