The Wall Street Journal (via MacRumors) reports on apparently very important changes in Apple’s industrial design team. The team, led by Jonathan Ive himself, has lost three of its most senior experts over the past few weeks: Rico Zorkendorfer, Daniele De Iuliis and Julian Hönig. The first two had 35 years of experience in Cupertino.
Only Zorkendorfer has commented on the reasons why he is leaving Apple: he wants to spend more time with his family . De Iuliis and Hönig have preferred to keep their reasons private (and they have every right to do so). We’ll never know for sure, but at least it sounds like some veteran Apple employees want to take some time off after their years at the company, or simply want a change in their careers.
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The source also comments that this may also be the consequence of the paradigm shift that is taking place at Apple : the company is moving from designing computers and phones to (presumably) creating virtual reality glasses or even electric cars. This requires new talent with experience in fields that today’s designers have never worked in before.
Zorkendorfer, in fact, says he has brought “incredible” new talent to the industrial design team and is confident that Apple will continue to be able to present product and service designs that surprise everyone. That team is responsible for the final approval of many Apple products, so it’s one of the company’s most important teams.