The Wall Street Journal published one such report over the weekend, suggesting that after the release of the Apple Watch and its failure as a fashion accessory, Ive was dispirited and wanted to take a step back from day to day work at the company.
The report further suggested that Ive’s hands-off approach was disrupting work internally as he failed to show up to meetings and failed to offer design team members the guidance they needed, particularly on the iPhone X. Ive was said to be frustrated with an increasing focus on operations over design.
Apple CEO Tim Cook, in an email to NBC News, called the story “absurd” and said that the conclusions drawn by the report “don’t match with reality.” From Cook’s email:
The story is absurd. A lot of the reporting, and certainly the conclusions, just don’t match with reality. At a base level, it shows a lack of understanding about how the design team works and how Apple works. It distorts relationships, decisions and events to the point that we just don’t recognize the company it claims to describe.
The design team is phenomenally talented. As Jony has said, they’re stronger than ever, and I have complete confidence that they will thrive under Jeff, Evans, and Alan’s leadership. We know the truth and we know the incredible things they’re capable of doing. The projects they’re working on will blow you away.
Apple last week said that Ive is leaving Apple to begin his own company, LoveFrom. Apple will be LoveFrom’s first client, and Ive said that he plans to continue to work on Apple design projects.
Ive also said that Apple’s design team is “stronger, more vibrant, and more talented” than at any other point in time, and that he has complete faith in future Apple products and the Apple…