Newly updated corporate bios for Apple's design team show that the company's new vice presidents of user interface design (Alan Dye) and industrial design (Richard Howarth) will report to CEO Tim Cook — not Jony Ive. The change is part of Ive's transition to a new, more hands-off role as Apple's Chief Design Officer and was announced earlier this year, with the British designer explaining in a profile for the UK's Daily Telegraph that the role "frees [him] up from some of the administrative and management work."
An email to Apple's staff from Cook published at the same time explained that Ive will "remain responsible for all of our design [including] new ideas and future initiatives," but that "day-to-day managerial responsibilities" will be handled by Dye and Howarth. Although today's news is consistent with what was expected about Ive's new role, some tech commentators speculated in May that the man responsible for some of Apple's most iconic designs may be preparing to leave the company. "In my estimation," wrote Stratechery's Ben Thompson, "this is the beginning of the end of his time at Apple."