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Could Jonny Ive Leave Apple?

David Gilbert

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Could Jony Ive Leave Apple?

The man credited with creating the iconic designs for the iPod, iPhone and iPad could be about to give up his position in Apple to settle back in his native England, if reports in The Sunday Times can be believed.

Jonathon 'Jony' Ives, Vice President of Design at Apple, is about to benefit from an £18 million windfall, the fruits of a “golden handcuffs” deal which saw him able to buy £25 million worth of Apple shares for just £7 million three years ago. The deal, struck in 2008 amid the financial crisis, meant Ive had to stay with the company for three years to qualify for the windfall. With the iPad 2 launch coming up in a couple of days, the Sunday Times says that, not that he is free to move, Ive and his wife are eager for their sons to be educated in England and Ive is considering moving back to his £2.5 million Somerset mansion.

Sources quoted by the Times however believe that Apple would not support such a move: “They have told him in no uncertain terms that if he headed back to England he would not be able to sustain his position with them." Apple, understandably, would not want to lose such an important component of its team considering the remarkable success it has had with the products Ive has been involved with. Wednesday's unveiling of the iPad 2, another product Ive has had considerable input into, is another important date for Apple and with Steve Jobs on a medical leave of absence, losing Ive would not be what the Cupertino outfit would want.

Considering the digital world we currently live in, it seems inconceivable that Apple and Ive would not be able to come to some sort of understanding regarding his relocation to England. With Apple remaining tight-lipped regarding its succession policy for Steve Jobs, this could point to the possibility of the Englishman taking the reigns when Jobs does finally step down.

Tim

February 28, 2011, 5:27 pm

I've said it before: I think Ive is the most important individual at Apple. Losing him would be really devastating. Also for the industry. I don't see how he could have ongoing significance working from Somerset, of all places.





I get, sort of, the desire to raise your kids somewhere nice, but Cuppertino should qualify as somewhere nice too. I also get that this guy doesn't *have* to work no more, but people like him are usually driven by mild cases of insanity (called 'passion').





This news did really upset me a little. I'm not necessarily an Apple fan, but they do push the industry every once in a while. Think about how many great things happened in the 90s...





PS: Calling Ive 'balding' is just stupid. Even if he were. But he is just shaving his head.

Jones

February 28, 2011, 5:53 pm

Balding or not, he is one hell of a dead ringer for ex footballer Graham Barrett!

Ben

February 28, 2011, 6:01 pm

There's no doubt about it, Ive's departure from the company would be a disaster. I'm sure Apple's board are acutely aware of this; hopefully there's no basis for this rumour that he may actually leave and it's all just part of the game of renegotiation.

Nav Garayal

February 28, 2011, 6:13 pm

who cares? Apple is a massive company with many cogs in the machine that contribute to its design prowess.

gagagaga

February 28, 2011, 6:33 pm

Bet Nokia have a slot open, and with Microsoft's enormous money bags open and ready to spend, we might get some interesting phones coming out of Finland soon ...

Max

February 28, 2011, 7:34 pm

FWIW I heard a month ago a certain consumer electronics megacorp were wooing him and Apple is becoming less and less interesting to him as a place to try out new ideas, also there is something about picking Jobs' successor and not being considered for the position...





Something about offering a challenge of building something up and having a bigger stake in the end result. Anyone who has looked at the situation knows that Apple are where they are because of the genius of Ive and without him and Steve Jobs the whole company will be in a state of turmoil.

Spunjji

February 28, 2011, 9:41 pm

If Somerset's where he wants to be then that's where he should be. Seeing as Apple seem to want him that badly then there's no good reason they can't work around that.

Mo

March 1, 2011, 2:24 am

He is coming to Northumbria Uni once a month to mentor ID students, so maybe he is finding a way to transition back.

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