Jony Ive Discusses His Lasting Memory of Steve Jobs, New Role as Chief Design Officer

Today at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit, Jony Ive sat down with director JJ Abrams and film producer Brian Grazer in a panel titled "Changing Worlds, Inventing Worlds" and spoke about his lasting memory of Steve Jobs and his new role as Chief Design Officer.

vf-summit-jony-ive

Image via Vanity Fair

Ive said he had messy feelings about Jobs when he died and knew of the "incredible complexity" of his attributes, but that in the four years since his death most of those attributes have receded. Since then, Ive believes he's been left with something that is "just him."

Quite honestly, what’s remained, I never would have predicted four years ago. What’s remained is almost unremarkable, but what’s remained is his very simple focus on trying to make something beautiful and great. And it really was simple. There wasn’t a grand plan of winning, or a very complicated agenda. That simplicity seemed almost childlike in its purity. And it’s true.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone so happy, as I saw him—this very simple kind of joy—when he would realize, “This is actually working out. This could be great.” It was just the simplicity of that.

That simplicity stands in "stark contrast" to the way Jobs is being portrayed in films like the upcoming Steve Jobs, according to Ive. He notes that Jobs had a sense of civic responsibility to make something good that contributed to humanity and culture.

When asked about Jobs portrayal in Steve Jobs, Ive noted that he "didn't recognize this person at all." He went on to say that the way someone is portrayed can be "hijacked" by people who aren't close friends or family.

Ive also commented on his new role as Chief Design Officer, saying that he "should have done this years ago" and that he hasn't felt "this happy and creative in years and years." Ive's new role, which he officially assumed on July 1, allows him to be more hands-off with day-to-day operations in addition to focusing on new ideas and future initiatives. Ive's day-to-day management of the design team has been turned over to Alan Dye, vice president of user interface design, and Richard Howarth, vice president of industrial design.

Update: The full video of Jony Ive's appearance at the Vanity Fair Summit is now available on YouTube.

Top Rated Comments

diazj3 Avatar
76 months ago
I still wonder what we would be using today if Jobs was still alive.
Smaller screen iPhones?
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Karma*Police Avatar
76 months ago
If I've learned anything about Steve, is that he loves you when you're useful and tosses you out when you're not. Since Jony has been kicking ass since day 1, I doubt he ever had to witness the negative side of Steve.
Simplicity at its finest. I wish more corporate leaders were that binary. If you perform, you're in. If you don't, you're out. My company would certainly benefit from that type of bold leadership.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Cole Slaw Avatar
76 months ago
Getting sick of Apple interacting with Vogue and Vanity Fair.
But that's the kind of atmosphere a pretentious ass like Jony Ive thrives in.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nepalisherpa Avatar
76 months ago
I still wonder what we would be using today if Jobs was still alive.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
greytmom Avatar
76 months ago
If I've learned anything about Steve, is that he loves you when you're useful and tosses you out when you're not. Since Jony has been kicking ass since day 1, I doubt he ever had to witness the negative side of Steve.
I never knew Steve, so I can't comment on his personality traits. But as an employer, I can tell you that it's pretty common to keep the useful, and divest the useless.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
polbit Avatar
76 months ago
Honestly, I'm starting to get tired of Ive. Buddy, you are not Steve, but your ego sure is about that size...
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

REC ASA CODE2016 20160601 205816 2745

Elon Musk Reportedly Demanded to Become Apple CEO as Part of Potential Tesla Acquisition [Update: Musk Denies]

Friday July 30, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly once demanded that he be made Apple CEO in a brief discussion of a potential acquisition with Apple's current CEO, Tim Cook. The claim comes in a new book titled "Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk and the Bet of the Century," as reviewed by The Los Angeles Times. According to the book, during a 2016 phone call between Musk and Cook that touched on the possibility of ...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
Apple watch series 5 new case material made of titanium 091019

Titanium Apple Watch Series 6 Models Currently Widely Unavailable

Sunday August 1, 2021 6:21 am PDT by
Models of the Apple Watch Series 6 with titanium cases part of the "Apple Watch Edition" collection is currently widely unavailable for pick-up in several of Apple's retail stores in the United States and is unavailable entirely for delivery in major markets. Noted by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman in the latest edition of his "Power On" newsletter, titanium models of the Apple Watch Series 6,...
ifixit iphone12 mini

Apple to Make Space for Larger Batteries in iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks By Adopting Slimmer Peripheral Chips

Monday August 2, 2021 2:12 am PDT by
For future iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks, Apple plans to use smaller internal components in an effort to increase the size of the device's battery, according to DigiTimes. Image Credit: iFixit Specifically, Apple plans to "significantly increase the adoption" of IPDs or integrated passive devices for the peripheral chips in its products. These news chips will be slimmer in size and allow for...
Flat 2021 MacBook Pro Mockup Feature

Unreleased Apple Macs and Apple Watches Listed in Eurasian Database Ahead of Fall Product Launches

Monday August 2, 2021 9:34 am PDT by
Apple is preparing for a slew of fall product launches according to new filings that showed up today in the Eurasian Economic Commission database. There are listings for new Mac and Apple Watch models, all of which have previously unknown model identifiers that indicate that they're upcoming devices. There are six new Apple Watch identifiers, including A2473, A2474, A2475, A2476, A2477, and...
a15 chip

iPhone 13 and Redesigned MacBook Pro Chip Production Hit With Gas Contamination

Friday July 30, 2021 5:44 am PDT by
The most important TSMC factory that manufactures Apple's chips destined for next-generation iPhone and Mac models has been hit by a gas contamination, according to Nikkei Asia. The factory, known as "Fab 18," is TSMC's most advanced chipmaking facility. TSMC is Apple's sole chip supplier, making all of the processors used in every Apple device with a custom silicon chip. Industry...
iPhone 13 Wi Fi 6E feature update

Wi-Fi 6E Explained: What It Could Mean for iPhone 13 and Beyond

Monday August 2, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 is widely expected to come with Wi-Fi 6E capabilities, and while it may seem rather nuanced to the average consumer, with only improved speeds and being "up to date" in the realm of Wi-Fi technology, it's actually a fairly significant improvement, laying the groundwork for much of what we know the future holds. To truly understand Wi-Fi 6E, MacRumors sat down for an exclusive...
youtube premium lite

YouTube Tests Cheaper 'Premium Lite' Subscription for Ad-Free Viewing

Monday August 2, 2021 3:22 am PDT by
YouTube is piloting a new cheaper subscription tier in Europe called "Premium Lite," which offers ad-free viewing minus YouTube Premium's other features. First spotted by a user on ResetEra and subsequently confirmed by Google, the "Lite" plan means users who aren't interested in offline downloads or background playback can still enjoy YouTube videos on web and mobile app without being...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 13 to Bring Over a Major Feature From the Apple Watch

Wednesday July 28, 2021 2:21 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will feature an always-on display akin to the Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6, according to recent reports. In his weekly Power On newsletter, Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, who often reveals accurate insights into Apple's plans, said that the iPhone 13 may feature an Apple Watch-inspired always-on mode. The Apple Watch Series 5 and Apple Watch...
COVID19 Digital Wallet Apple Wallet

Australian Government Now Offering COVID-19 Digital Vaccination Certificates for Apple Wallet

Monday August 2, 2021 12:04 am PDT by
The Australian government has introduced support for adding COVID-19 vaccination digital certificates to Apple Wallet via the Express Plus Medicare app on iOS. Image credit: Tap Down Under As spotted by Tap Down Under, users who have received two doses of either the AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccine now have access to the digital certificate through their Medicare online account or via the Medica...