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Why Jony Ive once thought Steve Jobs was going to fire him

March 20th, 2015 at 10:30 PM
Jony Ive Steve Jobs Firing

Scheduled to drop on March 24th, the upcoming Steve Jobs book called Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader, promises to deliver a number of incredible stories about Jobs and Apple’s incredible turn around from the brink of bankruptcy.

Ahead of the book’s release, a number of excerpts have already leaked, including an astonishing story about how Apple CEO Tim Cook once offered Steve Jobs part of his own liver. Now comes an additional story courtesy of Fast Company which relays that Jony Ive thought his time at Apple was over once Jobs returned to the company in 1997.

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Upon Jobs’ return to Apple, following Apple’s acquisition of NeXT, the Apple co-founder famously slashed all sorts of product initiatives. Part of Jobs Apple reshaping also involved some firings, and Jony Ive, who at the time was not the design superstar he is today, thought he was on the chopping block as well.

The first time Steve made the long trek over to the Design Lab, Ive was nervous and apprehensive. “That very first time we met, he had already started to talk about reengaging Harmut Esslinger [the founder of Frog Design, who had designed the first Mac],” Ive says. “He came over to the studio, I think, essentially to fire me.”

Ive, of course, had nothing to worry about. If anything, Jobs relayed that he felt Ive’s talent was being wasted under the previous Apple leadership. Within a year, Ive would become a household name in design circles following the unveiling of the Bondi Blue iMac.

A life long Mac user and Apple enthusiast, Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 6 years. His writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and most recently, TUAW. When not writing about and analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions, the most recent examples being The Walking Dead and Broad City.

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