Published: Tue, July 02, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Jony Ive found Tim Cook's disinterest in design "dispiriting"

Jony Ive found Tim Cook's disinterest in design

Tim Cook has hit out at reports that Apple's design division is in disarray - and that he himself is detached from new product design - after the news that Jony Ive will leave the company.

While strongly worded, the email does not clarify exactly what about the story Cook believes to be absurd, out of touch with reality, or distorted-a strategy which casts doubt on the report while making it hard to productively assess the rebuttal.

WSJ's report says Ive's enthusiasm for Apple wanned after the Apple Watch launch wasn't as successful as projected.

What these projects are, will nearly certainly remain a mystery for now but Cook's response could be to assure investors that Apple's design team is not in disarray as the WSJ report points it out to be.

Ives further soured on Apple as he watched the company's board become populated by individuals with backgrounds in finance and operations. If anything, the new reporting arrangements support the WSJ article with design being overseen by an operations chief, the 2IC of the company. He says that a lot of reporting and the conclusions made are not in line with reality.

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"The story is absurd", Cook wrote.

Apple will, obviously, continue to work with Ive through his new independent design firm LoveFrom. This reportedly led him to withdraw from routine management of the company's design team.

According to the same sources, the idea of Ive working from home was to help him recharge after years of intense working on products like the iMac and the iPhone. It distorts relationships, decisions and events to the point that we just don't recognize the company it claims to describe.

Ive's designs are not going away anytime soon, but Cook's letter to NBC indicates that Apple's ready for an era of powerful teams within the firm, rather than singular superstars. As Jony said, they're stronger than ever, and I have complete confidence that they will thrive under Jeff, Evans, and Alan's leadership. Do you fear that Apple products will deteriorate in design quality or do you maintain faith that the remaining employees, together with LoveFrom as an outside company, will be able to keep up with the standards they have set for Apple design?

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