Apple chief design officer Jony Ive is leaving

Apple’s chief design officer, Jony Ive, is leaving the company after nearly 30 years, the company announced Thursday.

Ive will start his own design company, and Apple will be one of its primary clients. He’ll continue to work closely on projects for Apple.

Ive was instrumental in establishing Apple’s sleek design aesthetic. He and Steve Jobs partnered on a remarkable run of products, ranging from candy-colored iMacs to the iPod and the original iPhone, that revived Apple’s fortunes and made it the most valuable company in the world. His work earned him design awards, a knighthood and the company of celebrities like Bono.

Jony is a singular figure in the design world and his role in Apple’s revival cannot be overstated, from 1998’s groundbreaking iMac to the iPhone,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement.

In recent years, Ive, age 52, had stepped back from his day-to-day management responsibilities at Apple and taken on a number of side projects, including helping to design a high-end Leica camera, a Christmas tree, and a diamond ring that sold for more than $256,000.

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