Technology

Apple boss disputes reported tensions leading to Jony Ive's exit

Chief executive Tim Cook called the report ‘absurd'.

Apple boss Tim Cook has disputed a report suggesting that tensions led to the departure of design chief Sir Jonathan Ive, the Briton behind many of the company’s famous products.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Sir Jonathan became “dispirited” by Mr Cook’s apparent lack of interest in the product development process and increasingly frustrated by Apple’s board being made up of directors from backgrounds unrelated to the company’s core business.

It also claimed that Sir Jonathan disagreed with some Apple leaders who wanted the Apple Watch positioned as an extension of the iPhone, while he saw it as a fashion accessory.

Mr Cook has since spoken out against the report, calling it “absurd” and that “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,” the chief executive told NBC News.

iPhone
Sir Jonathan Ive spearheaded the design of many Apple products including the iPhone (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

“It distorts relationships, decisions and events to the point that we just don’t recognise the company it claims to describe.”

Over the weekend, Sir Jonathan announced that he is leaving Apple to start his own design firm, but will continue to work with the iPhone maker as one of its clients.

Sir Jonathan was knighted in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in 2012.

The 52-year-old studied design at Newcastle Polytechnic – now Northumbria University.

He will not be immediately replaced and two of his deputies will report directly to the company’s chief operating officer, Jeff Williams.

An exact date for his departure has not been given.

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