Apple Virtuoso Jony Ive Promoted To ‘Chief Design Officer’

Apple design guru Jony Ive has just received a big promotion from his boss, CEO Tim Cook. Following a management shakeup a few years back that saw the ouster of Steve Jobs’ shadow, Scott Forstall, Ive took over the reigns as Apple’s Senior Vice President of Design. Now, however, Ive has been given the newly-created position of Chief Design Officer.

Even though Ive has a new title, Cook explained in a company memo that he will “remain responsible for all of our design, focusing entirely on current design projects, new ideas and future initiatives.”

jony ive
Sir Jony Ive

Beginning July 1, Ive’s day-to-day management duties will be split between Apple veterans Richard Howarth and Alan Dye. Howarth will take over as Apple’s VP of Industrial Design, while Dye will become the new VP of User Interface Design. 

Ive’s new position will also allow him to spend more time helping to shape the “look and feel” of Apple’s retail stores and oversee the construction of the new “spaceship” campus which is being erected in Cupertino.

You can read Tim Cook’s memo in full below:


I have exciting news to share with you today. I am happy to announce that Jony Ive is being promoted to the newly created position of Chief Design Officer at Apple.

Jony is one of the most talented and accomplished designers of his generation, with an astonishing 5000 design and utility patents to his name. His new role is a reflection of the scope of work he has been doing at Apple for some time. Jony’s design responsibilities have expanded from hardware and, more recently, software UI to the look and feel of Apple retail stores, our new campus in Cupertino, product packaging and many other parts of our company.

Design is one of the most important ways we communicate with our customers, and our reputation for world-class design differentiates Apple from every other company in the world. As Chief Design Officer, Jony will remain responsible for all of our design, focusing entirely on current design projects, new ideas and future initiatives. On July 1, he will hand off his day-to-day managerial responsibilities of ID and UI to Richard Howarth, our new vice president of Industrial Design, and Alan Dye, our new vice president of User Interface Design. 

Richard, Alan and Jony have been working together as colleagues and friends for many years. Richard has been a member of the Design team for two decades, and in that time he has been a key contributor to the design of each generation of iPhone, Mac, and practically every other Apple product. Alan started at Apple nine years ago on the Marcom team, and helped Jony build the UI team which collaborated with ID, Software Engineering and countless other groups on groundbreaking projects like iOS 7, iOS 8 and Apple Watch. 

Please join me in congratulating these three exceptionally talented designers on their new roles at Apple.