Jony Ive, Designer Who Made Apple Look Like Apple, Is Leaving the Company

SAN FRANCISCO — Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer and one of the most influential executives in the history of the Silicon Valley giant, is leaving the company.

Mr. Ive will depart later this year to start his own design company, Apple said on Thursday. Through his new firm, Mr. Ive will continue to work on a wide range of Apple products, the company said.

“Jony is a singular figure in the design world and his role in Apple’s revival cannot be overstated,” Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, said in a statement.

Mr. Ive, who has worked at Apple for about three decades, was responsible for the look and feel of many iconic Apple products, including the iPhone and the iMac. He also helped design Apple’s new headquarters, a futuristic, flying-saucer-like glass building that has become one of the most distinctive structures in Silicon Valley.

Apple’s design team will now be led by Evans Hankey, an industrial designer at the company, and Alan Dye, previously a creative director at Apple. They will report to Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, who oversaw the creation of the Apple Watch.

Apple has lately been struggling with slumping iPhone sales and a significant drop in revenue across the China region. In April, when Apple last reported its quarterly financial results, profit dropped 16.4 from the same quarter a year earlier, and iPhone sales dropped 17.3 percent.

Revenue from online services, including Apple’s App Store, was on the rise. But the hardware business that defined Apple — and the career of Mr. Ive — has slowed. The Apple Watch has been a modest success, but it has not captured the market or the popular imagination in the way that the iPhone and the iMac did when they were released.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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