The person in charge of the physical look and feel for Apple’s iPhones, Macs, and everything else is leaving the company, as Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman first reported. Industrial design vice president Evans Hankey will only remain with Apple for another six months. Hankey took over hardware design three years ago after longtime chief design officer Jony Ive was excited to start his design firm.
Evans Hankey Has Decided To Leave Apple
No replacement or next step for Evans Hankey has been publicly announced. However, Bloomberg reports her departure was announced internally this week and quotes a statement from an Apple spokesperson saying, “The senior design team has strong leaders with decades of experience. Evans plans to stay on as we work through the transition, and we’d like to thank her for her leadership and contributions.”
9to5Mac points out a recent profile of Hankey by Wallpaper detailing the process that oversees the design of everything from Apple’s products down to the shrink-wrap around the iPhone box.
Hankey and VP of human interface design Alan Dye have reported directly to Apple COO Jeff Williams ever since Ive left. The report cites anonymous sources saying Dye will remain with the company and noting that Gary Butcher, a former top designer in the human interface division, is returning to the company after a stint at Airbnb.
Hankey’s exit will undoubtedly reignite concerns about the ongoing importance of design at Apple. Indeed, Apple’s leadership page has not showcased a single SVP or VP of design since Ive left the company.
Many of Tim Cook’s critics have remarked that he has repeatedly put operations executives in charge of key decisions, thereby diminishing the contributions of the design group.