Bloomberg s Mark Gurman reports that after Apple Watch launched in 2015, Ive had already begun to abandon his responsibilities because of the burden it had put on him personally.
Around the time, Ive told New Yorker that he had become "deep, deeply tired," and said that the year before Apple Watch debut was "the most difficult" since he came to Apple.
To extend his time with the company, Apple later decided to change its official role to the Chief Design Officer, allowing daily hardware and software design teams to shift to leaders Alan Dye and Richard Howarth.
From then on, Ive started coming to Apple's headquarters "as little as twice a week," and many meetings with his design team were reportedly in San Francisco so Ive could avoid the long commute from his Pacific Heights home district of Apple's HQ in Cupertino, California.
Sometimes Ive even met his team in the home of his employees, at hotels or elsewhere, according to people familiar with the case, while the design director did much of his work at an office in San Francisco and a studio that has now become the foundation for its new LoveFrom business.
Ive also often traveled to London, near where he was raised, according to Bloomberg s Gurman.
In two years in its new role, in late 201[ads1]7, Apple said Ive had taken on some of the leadership responsibilities he had previously given, and Howarth and Dye was removed from Apple's lead. But still I only came to the office a few days a week.
Someone who is familiar with Apple is concerned about the new design management, Gurman reports. With Ive leaving, Apple's designer Evans Hankey will run the hard-time design team. Hankey, who has more than 300 patents for her name, is described as a "good team leader", but a person familiar with the design team told Gurman that Apple "now lacks a true design brain on its executive team, which is a concern."
Hankey and Dye will report to Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams, who is likely to gain more control over product direction, and some employees are also said to be concerned that the reorganization is another sign that Apple is less design-focused and more of an operating company.
"The design team is made up of the most creative people, but now it's an operating barrier that wasn't there before," said a former Apple leader. "People are afraid of being innovative."
Howarth is a designer at heart and will not manage. Hankey is known as a better leader, but is not a designer. The whole group of designers has reported to her and she to Ive after Howarth was demoted from VP a few years ago. The organ structure does not change. https://t.co/oSxLRFUkkf
– Mark Gurman (@markgurman) June 28, 2019