Apple's Top Designer Jony Ive Could Leave

Lead Apple product designer Jonathan Ive is looking to move back to the UK contrary to the wishes of the board, despite being set for an £18 million windfall from stocks in the company.

According to an article by the Daily Mail, Ive had agreed a 'golden handcuffs' deal with Apple, under which he was exclusively tied to working for the iPhone maker for three years. As a part of the deal Ive was awarded stock options, which are now said to be worth around £18million.

Ive, who is the senior vice president of industrial design at Apple, is behind the iconic design of Apple's iPod, iPhone and iPad devices. The designer, who is said to be worth around £80 million, has a home in Somerset, UK.

The article reported that Ive is 'at loggerheads' with Apple's board over the amount of time he spends at home, and is clearly wanting to spend more time in the UK with his family. The company are apparently not to keen on him 'commuting' from Somerset in England, and are not wanting to compromise despite Ive's 'rock star' status in the design world.

Ive and his wife plan on cashing in on his Apple shares and moving back to England for their children's eduction. An anonymous source told the Times of London, “Unfortunately he is just too valuable to Apple and they told him in no uncertain terms that if he headed back to England he would not be able to sustain his position with them.”