Apple has always recognized the importance of design in its products, from the early days of the Apple II to the recent introduction of the Apple Watch. One of the more important people involved in design at the company has been Jony Ive, who up until yesterday had the position of senior vice president of design. He’s now the company’s Chief Design Officer, a title that speaks to the level of importance that the company places design. There are only two other “Chief Officers” in the company — Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook and Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri.
The reorganization, which has yet to make it to the official Apple leadership web page, essentially places Ive in a top spot in which his oversight will cover all aspects of design in the company, including the company’s new Campus 2 headquarters in Cupertino, California and the Apple retail stores. Last year, Ive was given the power over UI design in addition to hardware; now he’ll have control over all design aspects. It’s apparent that the company’s board of directors and Tim Cook realize that one man cannot place all of his focus on all of the hardware, UI and physical plant design of a $750 billion company, so they’ve also named two new vice presidents to take over day-to-day managerial responsibilities. Richard Howarth is the company’s new vice president of Industrial Design, while Alan Dye takes on the position of vice president of User Interface Design.
Both Howarth and Dye have worked with Ive for years. Howarth has been on Apple’s design team for 20 years, a key contributor to the design of every generation of Mac, iPhone and other products during that time. Dye has been with Apple for nine years, and helped Ive to build the UI team that worked side-by-side with the Industrial Design, Software Engineering and other groups on iOS 7, iOS 8 and the Apple Watch.