Tim Cook has hit out at what he brands an “absurd” and inaccurate report by The Wall Street Journal on the forthcoming departure of long-running Chief Design Officer Jony Ive who will leave Apple later this year to open his own independent design practice.
In an email to NBC reporter Dylan Byrers, Cook says the report, which claimed Ive regularly missed design meetings and had become frustrated with Apple’s prioritization on operations and management opposed to hardware design, “shows a lack of understanding about how the design team works and how Apple works.”
Within the WSJ report shared on Monday, it was also said the original Apple Watch sold just one-quarter of what Apple had forecast for the device.
Hitting back on the claims made in the report, Cook said:
The story is absurd. A lot of the reporting, and certainly 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. It distorts relationships, decisions, and events to the point that we just don’t recognize the company it claims to describe.
Cook then went on to share his confidence in the design team at Apple:
The design team is phenomenally talented. As Jony has said, they’re stronger than ever, and I have complete confidence that they will thrive under Jeff, Evans, and Alan’s leadership. We know the truth and we know the incredible things they’re capable of doing. The projects they’re working on will blow you away.
The report by the WJS suggested in some respect that Jony Ive lost his love and passion for the company after the passing of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. According to the report, Cook attempted to “keep Ive happy over the years, in part with a pay package that far exceeds that of other top Apple executives.”, a move that caused friction with other members of Apple’s leadership.