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.

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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

Glockworkorange Avatar
39 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)
Darth.Titan Avatar
39 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)
Yourbigpalal83 Avatar
39 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)
UKPoliticsGuy Avatar
39 months ago
No outright denial though ....
Score: 47 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mr. Dee Avatar
39 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)
555gallardo Avatar
39 months ago
I smell some damage control
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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