Apple boss Tim Cook has disputed a report suggesting that tensions led to the departure of design chief Jonathan Ive, the Briton behind many of the company’s famous products.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Mr Ive became “dispirited” by Mr Cook’s apparent lack of interest in the product development process and increasingly frustrated by Apple’s board being made up of directors from backgrounds unrelated to the company’s core business.
It also claimed that Mr Ive disagreed with some Apple leaders who wanted the Apple Watch positioned as an extension of the iPhone, while he saw it as a fashion accessory.
Mr Cook has since spoken out against the report, calling it “absurd” and that “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,” the chief executive told NBC News.
“It distorts relationships, decisions and events to the point that we just don’t recognise the company it claims to describe.”
Over the weekend, Mr Ive announced that he is leaving Apple to start his own design firm, but will continue to work with the iPhone maker as one of its clients.
The 52-year-old studied design at Newcastle Polytechnic – now Northumbria University – and founded his own design company called Tangerine before being recruited by Apple.
He will not be immediately replaced and two of his deputies will report directly to the company’s chief operating officer, Jeff Williams.
An exact date for his departure has not been given.
- Press Association