Chief Design Officer

Written by Michael Lee on May 26, 2015

Today it was announced that Jony Ive, long time lead for Apple’s Industrial Design team and more recently the Human Interface team, has been promoted to a newly created position of Chief Design Officer.

Alongside the official announcement from Apple, a story was published by The Telegraph discussing with Ive about the new position.

What struck me was this excerpt:

When I catch up with Ive alone, I ask him why he has seemingly relinquished the two departments that had been so successfully under his control. “Well, I’m still in charge of both,” he says, “I am called Chief Design Officer. Having Alan and Richard in place frees me up from some of the administrative and management work which isn’t … which isn’t …

Which isn’t what you were put on this planet to do?

Exactly. Those two are as good as it gets.”

It is quite amazing to read this statement because there are two realizations. The first, that Ive has been acknowledged by others of his art and what he has contributed to this world. The second, is that Ive himself understands his abilities and purpose to create and release his art into this world.

I can only imagine how this new position and move came about.

Ive, probably frustrated by minutes, hours, days, months slipping away as he is stuck doing the things he wasn’t made for. He perhaps storms into Cook’s office and shares his frustration. The administrative and management work is draining and taking him away from what gets him out of bed in the mornings and pumped throughout the day — his art. Tim Cook, seeing Ive’s frustration and his importance to Apple, agrees and out of thin air…a new position is made just for him.

Along with his new position, Ive might’ve gotten a bump in his salary but that doesn’t matter. More importantly what Ive got back from being promoted to this position was his ability and time to devote in creating art. Ive just became indispensible to Apple.

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