Even as Jony Ive has made up his mind to leave Apple, media doesn’t want to leave him. Even after four days of Ive’s decision, media seems to have stuck to the stories around his departure, the relation between Ive and Cook, possible effects on Apple et al.
What gravitas is there in Jony’s departure? Why is there so much media outcry? I wonder people might compare this departure with Adam’s fall from Heaven.
Apple Does Not Give a Damn About Jony’s Departure
After all this hullaballoo over Jony’s departure, Apple doesn’t give a damn. And a trillion-dollar company (for once) should not bother about its employees’ leaving. Notably, in the last couple of years, many designers have left Apple; Jony is just a design chief.
According to Tim Cook, “Apple will continue to benefit from Jony’s talents by working directly with him on exclusive projects, and through the ongoing work of the brilliant and passionate design team he has built. After so many years working closely together, I’m happy that our relationship continues to evolve, and I look forward to working with Jony long into the future.”
In the last three years, at least six persons left the design team at Apple. Since Ive was associated with all the significant launches including iPhone, iPad, iPod, MacBook, and Apple Park (if you dub it as a product launch), his departure would surely set some tongues wagging.
More so, there was a strong perception that Ive was more comfortable with Steve Jobs than Tim Cook. Everybody knows that Steve Jobs and Jony would regularly walk around Apple’s Silicon Valley campus and would take lunch together.
Jobs’ passionate style of doing business was more conducive for creative people like Jony Ive. When Tim Cook took charge as CEO of Apple, people began to compare Cook with Jobs. And people based their arguments on product innovation, marketing, and customer satisfaction.
Unlike Steve, who believes in hire-and-fire strategy, Tim Cook is more considerate about employee retention. He is more inclined to keep tabs on numbers. There is a general feeling that after Steve Jobs, there is no major product innovation except for Apple Watch. AirPods can be conveniently called iPhone accessories rather than a stand-alone product.
Naturally, the innovative mind of Jony began to feel suffocation in this environment. As of now, Tim Cook’s real concern should be the people who have been there forever don’t want to keep doing incremental updates to current products.
As far as design is concerned, Apple can find the best minds in the world with its huge pile of cash. As a matter of fact, Apple’s current design team has able leaders like Evans Hankey, vice president of Industrial Design, and Alan Dye, vice president of Human Interface Design, reporting to Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer.
“Both Dye and Hankey have played key leadership roles in Apple’s design team for many years. Williams has led the development of Apple Watch since its inception and will spend more of his time working with the design team in their studio.”
A trillion-dollar company doesn’t have any qualms spending a few bucks on hiring the extraordinary talent. But then s/he should gel well with Tim Cook-style of working.
Coming to our original question: What difference does it make to Apple? Perhaps Jon Kolko in Harvard Business Review explains in a convincing way, “…the Myth that Only Certain People Can Design.”
That’s all folks!
Apple was at a tremendous loss when Steve Jobs died in 2011, but the company managed to perform excellently under the leadership of Cook. So much so that Apple became the first trillion-dollar company. Employees may come and go; the brand Apple will always strive to achieve new heights.