Apple CEO Tim Cook Calls Recent WSJ Report About Jony Ive 'Absurd'

Following Apple's announcement that Jony Ive will be leaving the company to start his own design firm later this year, there have been multiple reports speculating on why Ive left and his time at Apple over the course of the last few years.

The Wall Street Journal published one such report over the weekend, suggesting that after the release of the Apple Watch and its failure as a fashion accessory, Ive was dispirited and wanted to take a step back from day to day work at the company.


The report further suggested that Ive's hands-off approach was disrupting work internally as he failed to show up to meetings and failed to offer design team members the guidance they needed, particularly on the iPhone X. Ive was said to be frustrated with an increasing focus on operations over design.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, in an email to NBC News, called the story "absurd" and said that the conclusions drawn by the report "don't match with reality." From Cook's email:

The story is absurd. A lot of the reporting, and certainly the conclusions, just don't match with reality. At a base level, it shows a lack of understanding about how the design team works and how Apple works. It distorts relationships, decisions and events to the point that we just don't recognize the company it claims to describe.

The design team is phenomenally talented. As Jony has said, they're stronger than ever, and I have complete confidence that they will thrive under Jeff, Evans, and Alan's leadership. We know the truth and we know the incredible things they're capable of doing. The projects they're working on will blow you away.

Apple last week said that Ive is leaving Apple to begin his own company, LoveFrom. Apple will be LoveFrom's first client, and Ive said that he plans to continue to work on Apple design projects.

Ive also said that Apple's design team is "stronger, more vibrant, and more talented" than at any other point in time, and that he has complete faith in future Apple products and the Apple design team.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
16 months ago
I don't think the WSJ article said the design team was not talented.

I think the article talked about how Ive had basically checked out over the past few years.

Cook's comment is misdirection--it doesn't address the true point of the article.

Leads me to believe the WSJ article was largely accurate.
Score: 101 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
16 months ago

No outright denial though ....

Calling the article "absurd" and that "... the conclusions, just don't match with reality..." is pretty much an outright denial as far as I can see.

That being said... while I have no reason to doubt Tim Cook, this rebuttal would have more weight if being made by Jony Ives himself. Of course that's just my opinion.
Score: 64 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
16 months ago
I dont believe Tim Cook for a second here. Honestly...he seems like a great guy, but he is in no way, shape or form the next Steve Jobs and never will be. He just doesnt strike me as a person who has the passion for design and innovation steve had.

So i totally get why Johny would want to leave and seemed to not care any more with apple because his partner Steve is gone and there is no one worthy for him to bounce design and ideas off of. Tim is just not that guy.

What they need there is another Rebel, another Steve Jobs who cares more about changing the world then making a profit!
Score: 54 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
16 months ago
No outright denial though ....
Score: 47 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
16 months ago
Here’s what happened, Tim put a lot of trust in Jony after he fired Scott Forstall. But Tim felt like he probably gave Ive a bit too much power: iOS 7 wasn’t a hit out the gate had major UI issues, 2013 Mac Pro which thermally designed itself into a thermal problem, the late arrival of the 2012 iMac; the Apple Watch first gen was pretty bad and waste in making a gold version without a clear vision of its intended purpose probably cost Apple a lot of money. Bend gate with iPhone 6 was probably another big one that probably pushed Tim into taking back some control.

Cool I believe felt like Jony was probably manipulating both him and the company in the wrong direction. I also think Cook felt like Jony could easily **** this up for everyone and decided that maybe it was best his energies put towards training new leadership, emeritus role, attending product launches and blessing products with narration.

This would at least give the impression to investors and users everything is ok.

To be honest, it’s a mess right now, because there isn’t that one voice reign things in and slap the operations and MBA when they try to weasel their way in.

Steve Jobs let Jony get away with some things consciously partly due to his love for him (G4 Cube, Hi-fi iPod,), but he knew when to tell him and the team you are losing the script.

I think that is what Jony truly yearns for and is missing at Apple: Vision, Guidance and Direction.

A bean counter and human rights activist jetting all over the world to collect awards and do speeches can’t give Jony that.
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
16 months ago
I smell some damage control
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Here's How You Can Download iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Around the World [It's Out]

Wednesday September 16, 2020 2:36 am PDT by
Apple's official public release of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 dropped on Wednesday, September 16, just a day after the company released the Golden Master to third-party developers. Also set to be made available to the general public for the first time are watchOS 7 and tvOS 14. Getting Started With iOS 14 Video Click image to watch iOS 14 Getting Started While that's left a lot of developers...

When Will the iPhone 12 Launch? Here's What We Know

Wednesday September 16, 2020 6:12 am PDT by
Yesterday's "Time Flies" Apple event saw the release of the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, iPad 8, and iPad Air 4, but no new iPhone models. Rumors before the event strongly alleged that it would not see the unveiling of new iPhones, with many reports pointing to an October launch. The lack of new iPhone models yesterday seems to confirm that the iPhone 12 lineup will not appear...

Apple Releases iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 With Home Screen Redesign, App Library, Compact UI, Translate App, Scribble Support, App Clips, and More

Wednesday September 16, 2020 12:48 pm PDT by
Apple has released iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, the newest operating system updates designed for the iPhone and iPad. As with all of Apple's software updates, iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 can be downloaded for free. iOS 14 is available on the iPhone 6s and later, while iPadOS 14 is available on the iPad Air 2 and later. The updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To ...

Apple Updates AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro Firmware to Version 3A283

Monday September 14, 2020 11:24 am PDT by
Apple today released new 3A283 firmware updates for the second-generation AirPods and the AirPods Pro. The second-generation AirPods are being updated from the 2D15 firmware they were previously running, while the AirPods Pros are being updated from the 2D27 firmware they had installed previously. Apple does not provide details on what's included in refreshed firmware so we don't know what's ...

Spotify Says Apple One Bundle Will Cause 'Irreparable Harm to Developer Community'

Tuesday September 15, 2020 12:26 pm PDT by
Apple today announced Apple One, a series of new subscription bundles that provide access to various Apple services at a combined monthly price. In response, Spotify sent out statements (via Peter Kafka) to the press decrying Apple's anti-competitive behavior and calling on "competition authorities" to stop Apple before it is able to cause "irreparable harm" to developers.Once again, Apple...

iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, and tvOS 14 Will Be Released September 16

Tuesday September 15, 2020 11:06 am PDT by
Apple today announced that iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, and tvOS 14 will be officially released on Wednesday, September 16. Apple has seeded the final Golden Master beta versions of each update to developers in advance. ‌iOS 14‌ and iPadOS 14 introduce dozens of new features, including a redesigned Home Screen that supports widgets on the iPhone and iPad for the first time. For more...

New AirPods Pro Firmware Introduces Spatial Audio Support and Automatic Switching

Monday September 14, 2020 12:22 pm PDT by
The new 3A283 firmware that Apple released for the AirPods Pro today appears to introduce support for Spatial Audio, a new feature coming to the higher-end AirPods with iOS 14. Multiple reports on Twitter and the MacRumors forums indicate that the firmware update adds a "Spatial Audio" option to the Control Center, which can be activated to enable the feature. Note that using Spatial Audio...

Apple Releases Safari 14 for Mac Ahead of macOS Big Sur Launch

Wednesday September 16, 2020 1:40 pm PDT by
macOS Big Sur didn't launch alongside iOS 14, iPadOS 14, tvOS 14, and watchOS 7 today, with the update coming later this fall, but Apple did release the Safari 14 update for macOS Catalina and macOS Mojave users. Safari 14 brings improved performance, customizable start pages, a Privacy Report to see which cross-site trackers are being blocked, and a new tab bar design that provides tab...

Full Transcript of Apple's 'Time Flies' Event With Apple Watch and iPad Updates

Tuesday September 15, 2020 8:46 am PDT by
Apple's virtual "Time Flies" event kicks off today at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, with Apple expected to debut new Apple Watch and iPad models, but it appears we may not see the iPhone 12 until next month. While we're not expecting to see new iPhones today, Apple's software updates for its various platforms are likely nearly ready for launch, so we may be hearing more about them today. Check...

Everything Apple Announced at Today's iPad and Apple Watch Event in Just Seven Minutes

Tuesday September 15, 2020 2:19 pm PDT by
Apple today held its annual September event, but this year was a bit different because no new iPhones were announced. The "Time Flies" event focused on the Apple Watch Series 6 and the iPad Air, and saw the debut of a new Apple One services bundle. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. It took Apple an hour to introduce the new devices, but we've recapped the event in...