Tim Cook Reacts to Claims of His Absence in Design
On Sunday night, Tripp Mickle of the Wall Street Journal published an article describing Jony Ive’s frustration with Tim Cook’s lack on interest in product design. The report explains that Cook’s absence had begun after the launch of the Apple Watch in 2015, and ultimately led to Ive’s decision to leave Apple. Mickle says that Ive was “dispirited” and had grown “frustrated inside a more-operations-focused company led by Chief Executive Tim Cook.”
People in the design studio rarely saw Mr. Cook, who they say showed little interest in the product development process—a fact that dispirited Mr. Ive.
— Tripp Mickle (@trippmickle) July 1, 2019
Disgruntled after reading the news, Cook took it upon himself to craft an email to Dylan Byers, senior media reporter at NBC. Without mentioning any specifics, Cook called the story “absurd,” adding that “a lot of the reporting, and certainly the conclusions, don’t match with reality.”
Exclusive: In scathing email, Apple CEO Tim Cook tells me the @WSJ report about Jony Ive’s departure — and his frustration with Cook’s alleged lack of interest in design — is “absurd.” Says reporting and conclusions "don’t match with reality.”
— Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) July 1, 2019
Contacting the media directly is not typical behavior for Cook, but it’s certainly a page from Steve Jobs’ book. It’s also important to note that Ive has not yet responded to the original report nor Cook’s response after the fact. Ive does have a lot at stake however, as Apple has reportedly agreed to pay his new firm, LoveFrom “millions of dollars a year to continue to work with Apple.”
In his email to Byers, Cook expresses that both he and Ive have the utmost level of confidence in the restructured design team. In listing the team’s new leaders though, Cook failed to mention himself as someone who would be a key component in the design process. If Mickle’s claims that Cook was “rarely” present in the design studio are true, then Apple’s future design will lie solely in the hands of Jeff Williams, chief operating officer; Evans Hankey, who oversees industrial design; and Alan Dye, who oversees user interface design.
What We’re Reading
- In least shocking news, Samsung CEO calls the Galaxy Fold "embarrassing." (TechCrunch)
- As of the end of May, Amazon found that the largest shipper of its products was indeed, itself (Yahoo)
- Samsung teases the Galaxy Note 10 slated to be revealed at the company's Unpacked event on August 7th (The Verge)