Yesterday, the WSJ published a detailed report on Jony Ive’s departure from Apple and his last few years at the company. The report claimed that Ive was slowing down the design team, not giving them proper feedback, and all CEO Tim Cook did was to keep him happy with a pay package that far exceeded other Apple executives.
The report highlighted one incident in which Ive turned up late for an important iPhone X design decision meeting and then left without giving any feedback or clearing the doubts of designers. It also claimed that Ive grew frustrated with Apple’s increasing focus on operations over design.
Now, in an email to NBC News, Apple CEO Tim Cook has called this story absurd. He says that a lot of reporting and the conclusions made are not in line with reality.
Below is Cook’s full email to NBC News.
The story is absurd. A lot of the reporting, and certainly the conclusions, just don’t match with reality. At a base level, it shows a lack of understanding about how the design team works and how Apple works. It distorts relationships, decisions and events to the point that we just don’t recognize the company it claims to describe.
The design team is phenomenally talented. As Jony has said, they’re stronger than ever, and I have complete confidence that they will thrive under Jeff, Evans, and Alan’s leadership. We know the truth and we know the incredible things they’re capable of doing. The projects they’re working on will blow you away.
Ive has worked at Apple for almost three decades now and him leaving the company now to start his own design firm is definitely a surprising move. Nonetheless, perhaps his departure will help Apple in building products with fresh new designs, though given that basic product designs are locked in at least a few years ahead of their release, that’s still some time away.