British design guru Jony Ive has been promoted to Chief Design Officer by Apple.
Ive is the man behind a string of Apple products including the iPhone, iPad, MacBook Pro, Apple Watch and iOS.
The designer, from the London suburb of Chingford, will now be in charge of the entire design philosophy of the company including help complete Apple’s new ‘Spaceship’ campus in Cupertino, CA, and even things like the furniture, as well as their products.
Ive’s promotion was revealed in an interview with British comedian, writer and TV personality Stephen Fry in the UK’s Telegraph newspaper.
Ive was previously Apple’s Senior Vice President of Design, after working for the company since 1992. Before joining he studied industrial design at Newcastle Polytechnic in northern England and worked for London-based design start-up Tangerine.
Also promoted as part of the interior shake-up are fellow Brit Richard Howarth, now head of Industrial Design, and Alan Dye, who will be the new head of User Interface.
Industrial Design refers to the material products that Apple creates, while User Interface includes the software and things like the images and sounds that come together to create the Apple experience.
Howarth has been the main figure — along with Ive — behind the development of the iPhone over the years, while Dye has been instrumental in creating the OS on the new Apple Watch.
Currently Ive’s biggest job is finishing off the new Apple Campus 2, their giant new headquarters in Cupertino. It will hold 13,000 staff members, compared to the firm’s current Infinite Loop HQ, which holds 5,000.
Ive worked closely with former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who described him as his “spiritual partner”, and now has an extremely close relationship with current CEO Tim Cook.
He was made Senior Vice President of Industrial Design in 1997 under Jobs, and was put in charge of both Human Interface (now User Interface) and Industrial Design in 2012.
Apple is currently the world’s most valuable company, worth around $741billion.