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Jony Ive taking new, more hands-off 'chief design officer' role at Apple

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Jony Ive, the man behind Apple's hardware and software design, is taking a step back from day-to-day operations. In a profile by Stephen Fry at The Telegraph, Apple has revealed that Ive is taking a new role as "chief design officer." Ive tells Fry that he's "still in charge" of the company's industrial design and user interface divisions, but the individual sections will be run by hardware designer Richard Howarth and UI designer Alan Dye, both longtime Apple employees. This change, he says, "frees me up from some of the administrative and management work."

9to5Mac has a little more detail; it's published an email from Tim Cook to the Apple staff. "Jony will remain responsible for all of our design, focusing entirely on current design projects, new ideas and future initiatives," it says in part. "On July 1, he will hand off his day-to-day managerial responsibilities of ID and UI to Richard Howarth, our new vice president of Industrial Design, and Alan Dye, our new vice president of User Interface Design."

Ive, who joined Apple over two decades ago, helped shape the look of the company's most distinctive products, including the iMac, iPod, and iPhone. In 2012, he was given responsibility over software as well as hardware design, and he headed work on iOS 7, a flat, brightly colored take on iOS that appeared in 2013. Currently, his role is senior vice president of design. In his new capacity, he tells Fry, he'll travel more and pay more attention to, among other things, Apple's retail stores. Apple, meanwhile, will be revealing its latest slate of projects at WWDC, which starts on June 8th in San Francisco.