Has Apple's Executive Shuffle Sidelined Jony Ive?

By James O Malley on at

Could Apple be planning ahead for design guru Jony Ive's departure? Recent changes to the Apple website point towards Ive being somewhat sidelined.

VentureBeat has been indulging in a little Apple-based Kremlinology and has noticed that in Apple's executive biographies section, the newly re-configured design team are all listed as reporting directly in their roles to CEO Tim Cook, and not Chief Design Officer Ive.

Isn't it a little odd that the new Vice Presidents in charge of Industrial Design and User Interface Design report directly to Cook instead of Ive, who is the designer behind the iPod, iPhone, Macbook Pro, iMac and pretty much every successful product of the last 20 years?

The speculation is that this could be working towards Ive's departure. Last month 9to5Mac posted its own analysis of Ive's "promotion", and argued that he had his foot out of the door, because of a desire to move back to Britain.

Of course, there could be a more reasonable explanation, and there's no telling that how it works on paper is reflective of the true power dynamic at Apple's Cupertino headquarters, but it does raise interesting questions on whether Apple can retain its reputation for design without Ive's steady hand on the tiller. [VentureBeat]