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Time Was Up for Jony Ive and Apple's Cult of Design

The iPhone maker needs to move beyond its hardware obsession as technology evolves and becomes embedded in everything.

The man and his creation.

The man and his creation.

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

There will be stories of palace intrigue involving Jony Ive, the Apple Inc. design chief who announced Thursday that he is planning to exit the company after more than a quarter of a century. This is a simpler tale: It was time. 

Apart from Steve Jobs, the co-founder and former chief executive officer, perhaps no person is more identified with Apple's rise from the cusp of bankruptcy 22 years ago to one of the most admired and successful companies in the world. Ive’s place in technology’s history is assured. He helped make computers more fun, helped put millions of songs in everyone’s pocket and helped change how people interact with technology thanks to the iPhone.