Apple’s chief design officer Jony Ive, who has played an integral role in crafting trademark products like the iPhone and iPod, is leaving the tech giant to start his own company called LoveFrom.
Apple shared the news in a press release on Thursday afternoon. Shares of the company’s stock dropped about 2% in after-hours trading to $197.55 per share.
Ive had been with Apple for nearly 30 years, where he helped refine its sleek, minimalistic approach to product design. Along with the iPhone, iPod, Mac and Apple Watch, Ive also led the team behind Apple Park, the company’s $5 billion corporate headquarters in Cupertino, California that opened in 2017.
During his time at Apple, the company rebounded from a faded tech has-been to the first trillion-dollar company — thanks in large part to the products Ive helped design.
Ive is partnering with designer Marc Newson on LoveFrom, according to the Financial Times. The company is expected to work closely with Apple moving forward.
Ive has been a “singular figure in the design world and his role in Apple’s revival cannot be overstated,” Apple chief Tim Cook said in a statement.
Apple has not named an immediate successor to Ive. Evans Hankey and Alan Dye, current design team leaders at Apple, will report directly to Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. Ive had reported directly to Cook.
In a statement, Ive said that Apple is “stronger, more vibrant and more talented than at any point” in its history. “The team will certainly thrive under the excellent leadership of Evans, Alan and Jeff, who have been among my closest collaborators. I have the utmost confidence in my designer colleagues at Apple, who remain my closest friends, and I look forward to working with them for many years to come.”