You could smell the hysteria at the news. Where will Apple, a company famous for its commitment to design and its famous designer, go from here? Sir Jonathan Ive’s departure, however, may be less of a catastrophe than some think. What if, actually, this isn’t just a good thing, but a sign of an even more positive future for Apple?
Apple has always prided itself on its culture, rather than its personnel. Tim Cook once said that Steve Jobs’ greatest contribution to the company was its culture and work to nurture new talent within it.
But Apple also lionized Ive as an embodiment of its design skill, as evidenced by his regular (much-parodied) appearances in product videos.
But Ive was never a single figure in Apple’s design team, just the most famous — and the most powerful. Apple may have avoided the PR shock if it had other designers who were similarly visible outside of the company. Some longstanding rumors suggest any potential successors to the Ive mantle were pushed out of the company by the designer himself.