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Apple struggles to find next Jony Ive as his successor leaves the company

Updated Nov 8th, 2022 11:28AM EST
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Image: Apple/YouTube

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A couple of weeks ago, BGR reported that Apple’s design chief was leaving the company after three years in the role. While the transition will take a few more months, a new report indicates that Apple is struggling to find a successor for the role that’s been Jony Ive’s for years. Here’s what you need to know.

According to Bloomberg, even after three years since Jony Ive left the company, Apple losing its new design chief, Evans Hankey, will be a tough challenge to replace. The publication explains that most of Apple’s design team has left to join Ive’s firm, LoveFrom, and Hankey couldn’t add her mark on the product’s designs as it usually takes years to be implemented.

“The strength of the team was that we were a nucleus bound together by the incredible environment that there was and the things we could do in a fairly unconventional way for a large company,” said a longtime member of the group, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. “It was a special team. It wasn’t easy after Steve passed — things started to become a lot more complicated. There were more pressures and outside distractions.”

Bloomberg says another problem with Apple’s design team since Steve Jobs died was an “increased emphasis on costs, along with other distractions [that] created new difficulties,” according to people familiar with the matter.

The combination of Apple trying to save money and not having a proper name put the company between a rock and a hard place. The publication gives a few names, including Alan Dye, who oversees the appearance of Apple’s software, but people familiar with the situation believe this change could disrupt both design teams.

With that in mind, Apple could promote a veteran senior industrial designer, re-hire someone that once worked for Apple, or bring someone from another company. However, a longtime member of Apple’s design group said, “it would need to be someone internal,” as getting someone from another company would be the “death of the team.”

With Apple almost ready to release its Mixed Reality headset, its first new business since the Apple Watch, it’s unclear how Hankey’s departure will impact the company’s design in the long run.

More Apple coverage: iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 to be released in mid-December

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.