Jonathan Ive, Apple's senior vice president of product design, has no plans to take his talents back to the United Kingdom, an in-depth profile of the designer in the Daily Mail revealed last week. Recent speculation suggested the 44-year-old planned to cash in his US$30 million in Apple stock options and relocate to a mansion he owns in Somerset so that his children could receive an education in the UK.
Last month, the Times of London reported that Ive might be looking to leave Apple whose trend-setting designs he's helped shape for nearly 15 years. The Times suggested Ive remained an Apple employee only to reap the benefits of a "golden handcuffs" option grant from 2008 that he is now eligible to sell. With his net worth currently estimated at $128 million, many believed Ive could easily retire from Apple and return home to the UK with his family.
Fortunately for Apple, last week's profile in The Daily Mail states, in no uncertain terms, that Ive has no plans to leave California and that his $4 million home in Somerset, UK, will remain empty.
"I'm not sure there is any truth he wants to come back," a former colleague told the Daily Mail. "My last conversations with him were that he was planning to sell his house in the UK."Ive's career at Apple started quietly in 1992 when he often worked out of his own basement office, cranking out futuristic prototypes that were entirely under-appreciated by his superiors. "For the first three years Jony was having a pretty miserable time designing Newton PDAs and printer trays," Clive Grinyer, who co-founded tangerine, a UK consulting firm, with Ive in 1989, told The Daily Mail. "It was a bad existence."
Then, Steve Jobs returned to Apple and quickly recognized the value of Ive's design talent. With the responsibility of designing Apple's future, Ive got off to a fast start with the iconic and colorful iMac. Despite falling short of Jobs's high standards for perfection, the iMac was a huge hit with customers and rejuvenated Apple essentially overnight. Since then, Ive has become one of Apple's strongest assets, consistently raising the standard for industrial design both at the company and throughout the world.
Many consider Ive and current acting CEO Tim Cook to be Apple's most valuable executives behind Steve Jobs. With Ive apparently staying with Apple for awhile longer, Apple fans can look forward to more beautiful Macs, iPads, iPhones and iPods that define thoughtful, modern industrial design that's both functional and beautiful.