Apple terminates consulting services agreement with Jony Ive, former head of design

SAN FRANCISCO — When Apple’s influential designer Jony Ive left the company in 2019, Tim Cook, its chief executive, assured customers that Mr. Ive, the man who gave the world caramel computers, worked exclusively with this company for many years.

Not anymore.

mr. Ive and Apple agree stop working togetherended a three-decade period in which the designer helped define every rounded corner of the iPhone and led the development of the only new product category in years, the Apple Watch, according to two people with knowledge of their contractual agreement.

When Mr. Ive left Apple in 2019 to start his own design firm, LoveFrom. The iPhone maker signed him to a multi-year contract worth over $100 million. That made Apple his firm’s main client, people familiar with the deal say.

In recent weeks, when the contract was to be renewed, the parties agreed not to renew it. Some Apple executives wondered how much the company was paying Mr. Jones. Ive become disillusioned after several of his designers left to join Mr. Iva company. And d. These people said I needed the freedom to take clients without Apple’s permission.

Through a spokesman for Mr. Ive, 55, declined to comment. Apple also declined to comment.

Before leaving Apple in June 2019, Ive became frustrated that Mr. Cook had focused the increasingly large company on operations rather than big design breakthroughs, according to more than a dozen people who worked closely with Mr. Cook. Ive. The designer has moved to a part-time job as a mr. Cook focused on selling more software and services.

In July 2019, Cook called the news coverage of Mr. Ive’s frustration with Apple “absurd” and he said it “distorts relationships, decisions and events.”

mr. Cook’s strategy has been lauded by investors, adding $1.5 trillion to Apple’s market value in just two years, even as some analysts chide it for its lull in revolutionary devices.

Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, will continue to oversee the company’s design teams, with Evans Hankey leading industrial design and Alan Dai leading software development. Apple’s product marketing team, led by Greg Joswiak, senior vice president of marketing, took a central role in product selection.

mr. Iva’s firm, LoveFrom, will continue to work with clients such as Airbnb and Ferrari. Ive will continue his personal work with the Sustainable Markets Initiative, a non-profit organization run by Prince Charles that focuses on climate change.

Born and raised outside of London. Ive joined Apple in 1992 and led the design team. The company was on the verge of bankruptcy in 1997 when Steve Jobs assigned Mr Quince team with iMac development. The bulbous translucent computer became the fastest-selling desktop computer in history at the time. This restored the Apple business and turned Mr. Fell in love with Mr. Jobs’s closest associate.

“He’s not just a designer,” Mr. Jobs told his biographer Walter Isaacson about this. “He has more operational power than anyone at Apple except me.”

mr. I have also developed white iPod headphoneswho inspired Apple’s dancing silhouette ad campaign, and he backed the creation of the iPhone’s touch screen technology.

Since Jobs’ death from cancer in 2011, Ive has led the development of the Apple Watch. The product fell short of initial sales expectations, but it created a wearables business that brought in $38 billion in revenue last year.

In 2015, I approached Mr. Cook about leaving Apple, according to four people familiar with the conversation. According to these people, the designer is tired of reaching the consensus needed to produce the Apple Watch. mr. Cook agreed to let Mr. I work part-time.

Four years later, Mr. Ive and Mr. Cook announced that the designer would leave Apple to create LoveFrom. In a statement at the time, Mr. Cook said, “I’m glad our relationship continues to develop and I look forward to working with Joni for a long time.”