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Apple promotes British design boss

Published 26/05/2015

Sir Jonathan Ive is the man behind of some of the best-loved gadgets of modern times
Sir Jonathan Ive is the man behind of some of the best-loved gadgets of modern times

Apple has promoted British designer Sir Jonathan Ive to the role of chief design officer, a newly-created position at the world's most valuable company.

Sir Jonathan has previously been Apple's senior vice president of design and has overseen some of the most important products in the technology giant's history, including the iPod, iPhone and iPad, as well as this year's Apple Watch.

Sir Jonathan was knighted in 2012 for services to design, having joined Apple in 1992 and gone on to forge a close relationship with late co-founder Steve Jobs.

Sir Jonathan's promotion was first revealed in an interview with The Daily Telegraph, and an internal memo from Apple chief Tim Cook that was published by blog 9to5Mac confirmed that the Chingford-born designer's responsibilities have now expanded beyond hardware and software products to also include the company's retail stores, the new headquarters currently being built in Cupertino, California, and even the furniture that will be placed within it.

In the memo, Mr Cook said: "Jony is one of the most talented and accomplished designers of his generation, with an astonishing 5,000 design and utility patents to his name. His new role is a reflection of the scope of work he has been doing at Apple for some time."

In the interview with the Telegraph, Sir Jonathan revealed that the promotion will enable him to travel from Apple's secretive design lab more often, as he will now delegate some administrative duties to other, newly promoted executives, freeing him up to focus on the designing of Apple's new Campus 2 headquarters.

Fellow British employee Richard Howarth has been made vice president of industrial design, with Alan Dye being made the firm's new vice president of user interface design. Both men will report to Sir Jonathan, with the transition set to take place on July 1.

Mr Howarth has worked on the iPhone since the first generation of the device was released in 2007, and he will continue to focus on hardware. Mr Dye was said to be a crucial player in the overhaul and redesign of iOS 7, Apple's mobile operating system, as well as help create the interface for the newly launched Apple Watch. He will now focus on Apple software.

The Campus 2 site is known as the "spaceship" and was said to have been signed off by Steve Jobs before his death in 2011. The new site will reportedly use 100% renewable energy, as well as have room for 12,000 employees and a 1,000-seater theatre where Apple will conduct future live events and product launches. It is due to be opened late next year or in early 2017.

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