A few months ago, Evans Hankey announced she was departing from Apple after three years as the Industrial Design Chief. Jony Ive’s successor, she plans to leave the company in the coming months, but instead of being replaced, Apple decided it won’t find someone else for the role.
According to Bloomberg, all 20 industrial designers will now report to COO Jeff Williams. This post-Jony Ive era marks a design group split in two ever since he left. In 2015, the team was divided into industrial design, covering hardware, and a division handling user interface, of which Alan Dye is the lead.
With Hankey leaving, instead of Dye embracing both teams or someone else stepping in, Williams will be in charge of them. Bloomberg says Hankey’s departure is “part of a broader exodus within the design team, making it all the harder to find a replacement. About 15 of Apple’s top designers under Ive have departed the Cupertino, California-based technology giant since 2015.”
This change will also mean that Apple’s operation group will work closely with design. This decision will also make Williams more important in the company. Bloomberg report:
That group will get larger roles as part of the shift. But Williams decided that none would be named the new head and that the entire team will report to him. That move links Apple’s operations group more closely with design — an arrangement that’s irked some of Apple’s creative staffers. It will also elevate Williams, who is seen as a possible successor to Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook.
While these changes haven’t been made public, Apple could still name a new industrial design head in the future, as Hankey still has a few months left. Interestingly enough, amid layoffs in big techs, Apple seems to be reorganizing roles internally, so it doesn’t fire but also doesn’t hire new people.
For example, with the VP of Services leaving the company, Apple plans to divide his role into three teams internally instead of hiring a new VP.
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