Apple’s Iconic Designer Jonathan Ive Heading Back to England?



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If this is true, Apple's board is being extremely short-sighted. I've heard of some ridiculous "butts-in-seats" attitudes by some organizations, but this is arguably the most successful technology company in the world insisting that an employee has to be at a specific location in order to work for them?! Say it ain't so.



I call shenanigans.

First, this information comes by way of a second-hand report; none of these US web sites have even read the Sunday Times original article! It seems that $2 is too much to pay for research. ;o) The quote reported by Mac Rumors cites a "friend of the family" apparently speaking out of turn. Jony Ive keeps famously close; it's unlikely that any "friend" with access to true and reliable information about his employment situation would speak to the press.

Second, the only actual information presented is that Jony Ive MAY have options worth $18 million that have recently vested. This is normal for Apple. Their performance bonus options nearly always vest over time. The fact that one set of options has vested doesn't mean that there aren't more options which have not yet vested, or that someone is merely waiting until their options vest to leave the company. Who can't afford to retire on $90 million, but can afford to on $130 million?

Third, Jonathan Ive is a Designer. He doesn't just "do" design, it's his life's work and calling. He predates Steve Jobs' return to Apple by five years, and there is no other company on earth where a designer can make as big or as visible an impact as Apple. Leaving Apple would, in effect, be tantamount to quitting the design industry.

Finally, Jony Ive is a young man. At—what? 44 years old?—he's got decades left to fill with something to stave off boredom. He's not Larry Ellison, who might spend a retirement yachting, playing tennis, or collecting US states. Although he has children and he might like to spend more time with them, any parent can tell you that as children grow up they certainly don't want to spend all their time with YOU! The public knows of no other personal passion that Jony Ive has but Design.

As if all that weren't enough, I contacted my Magic 8 Ball and asked, "Will Jony Ive leave Apple?" The answer came up, "All signs point to 'no.' "




Agree with you on all points except the "he's a young man at 44" bit. Based on absolutely zero evidence, I'd say the man has the look of David Beckham in both a literal and figurative sense -- some people just like to quit at the top of their game. Or quit, join a lesser force, don't do very well, and then get a debilitating injury (in the case of Beckham).

If I were Ives I might call it a day and go live on a Yacht he designed. Or become an architect. Or, you know, stay at Apple.



Apple should do whatever is possible to retain Jonathan Ive. So he goes back to his home in England, he could still work his magic for Apple from there and commute back to Cupertino. Don't waste talent like his. You can both work it out.


Nick Ebb

He's a genius!

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