Apple promotes Jony Ive to chief design officer

Jony Ive is going up in the world, with news breaking that he is to become chief design officer at Apple.

He was previously senior vice president of design, with chief design officer, or CDO, being a new position Apple has created especially for Ive.

Ive will still be in charge of the design of Apple's hardware products and operating systems, but this new position will free him up from some of the day-to-day micromanagement of those roles, allowing him to focus on the bigger picture.

That bigger picture will include the design of Apple's retail shops and the company's new campus. He'll not just be turning architect, but he will even be designing the furniture inside the buildings.

It’s also quite possible that Ive could be set to work on Apple’s rumoured upcoming electric car, and he’ll need more time to concentrate on what will be a major project (if the speculation is correct, of course).

9 to 5 Mac spotted the memo announcing the appointment, which read: “I am happy to announce that Jony Ive is being promoted to the newly created position of Chief Design Officer at Apple.

“Jony is one of the most talented and accomplished designers of his generation, with an astonishing 5000 design and utility patents to his name. His new role is a reflection of the scope of work he has been doing at Apple for some time.

“Jony’s design responsibilities have expanded from hardware and, more recently, software UI to the look and feel of Apple retail stores, our new campus in Cupertino, product packaging and many other parts of our company.”

Two other employees are being promoted behind Ive, with Richard Howarth to become vice president of industrial design focusing on hardware, with Alan Dye becoming vice president of user interface design. These two will be covering the gaps that Ive’s new broader remit will leave.

Speaking of the electric car, earlier this year Apple was accused of poaching staff members from battery firm A123 Systems, snaffling five of the latter’s best engineers – but it now seems both companies are on the verge of a settlement. However, Cupertino is likely to have to fork out a considerable amount of cash to placate A123.