Freed from his endless prison in the featureless white room, where he was besieged on an annual basis by a video crew demanding his innermost design secrets, Sir Jony Ive is officially leaving Apple.
But, fear not: he won’t be entirely out of the game. Ive will be forming his own independent design company, of which Apple will be a—and presumably the largest—client. Ive’s design chief role will be filled by vice president of Industrial Design Evans Hankey and vice president of Human Interface Design Alan Dye, both of whom will report to Apple chief operating officer Jeff Williams.
Ive has logged almost 30 years with Apple, starting back in 1992; he’s headed the company’s design efforts since 1996 and became its chief design officer in 2015. He’s had a hand in pretty much every single product over that tenure, including the original iMac, the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad.
Certainly, Ive’s design aesthetics will linger on for the foreseeable future, especially if he continues work with the company, but with his departure, there likely won’t be a single person that wields the same kind of power that he did. Not all will be sad to see him go, either: he’s been a contentious—and at times parodied—figure, especially as Apple’s struggled with the balancing act between form and function in the last few years. But after nearly three decades, it’s not hard to imagine that he’s looking for a new challenge.