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Apple just lost a key designer who helped create the original iMac and the iPhone

Published Apr 13th, 2016 11:30PM EDT
Apple Design Group
Image: Apple

For just the second time in company history, a member of Apple’s vaunted industrial design team has left for another company. Originally reported by The Information, longtime designer Danny Coster has opted to try and spread some of his design magic at GoPro. Coster is set to begin his new career at GoPro in in just two weeks whereupon he will become the company’s Vice President of Design.

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An Apple veteran since the early 90s, Coster has hundreds of patents to his name. In turn, he played an instrumental role in designing the look and feel of a number of Apple’s more iconic and successful products, including the original Bondi Blue iMac and the iPhone. And speaking to the cachet that comes along with being an Apple designer, shares of GoPro spiked nearly 20% when news of Coster’s hire was made public.

CultofMac adds:

Coster, a native New Zealander, joined Apple in the summer of 1994 — just a few months after Ive himself was hired.

He was described by colleagues as “tall, goofy, super-talented.” During his career, he rose to the top of the studio. Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs describes Coster as the “top deputy” to Ive in the last few years. In total, Coster has received more than 600 patents on a wide range of products and technologies.

While it’s no secret that talented engineers and designers in Silicon Valley are prone to hop from company to company, Coster’s hire is particularly noteworthy because it marks just the second time that a designer has left Apple’s revered and tightly knit design group. Currently 19 members strong, Jony Ive would routinely boast of how the core design team at the company has stuck together for years on end.

GoPro’s full press release on its new hire can be seen below.

GoPro today announced that Daniel (Danny) Coster has been named Vice President of Design, effective the end of April. He will report to GoPro CEO and founder Nick Woodman.

Mr. Coster will influence all aspects of design at GoPro in his new role, including hardware and software and services, lending his strategic vision and expertise to maximizing the GoPro user’s experience from end to end.

“Ironically, Danny and I first met in December, 2001, on the beach in Sayulita, Mexico at the very start of the five month surfing trip where I developed and tested the first GoPro prototype,” said Woodman. “His design pedigree speaks for itself, but I will say that we feel energized to have him join GoPro.”

A core member of Apple’s elite industrial design team for more than 20 years, Mr. Coster is credited for his contributions to a wide range of now iconic consumer electronics ranging from the iPhone 4 to the iPad wireless keyboard. He holds more than 500 design patents and several utility patents, and has been recognized by several international design organizations for his work.

“I’m honored to join the GoPro team,” said Coster. “This extraordinary company is close to the hearts of so many people around the world. Its brand and products inspire us to capture and share our lives’ most important moments. I’m excited to shape the future with the incredible team at GoPro.”

Yoni Heisler Contributor

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW. When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.