Sir Jonathan Paul "Jony" Ive, the British industrial designer that gave the electronic products of Apple Inc. their signature looks, will retire from Apple later this year after 27 years of service.
Ive, who in 2013 was also named one of the "100 Most Powerful Bald Men in the World," is leaving Apple to start his own independent design company called LoveFrom.
Apple Thursday said it will be among the primary clients of LoveFrom. It also said Ive will continue to work closely with it on a range of Apple projects.
"Jony is a singular figure in the design world and his role in Apple's revival cannot be overstated, from 1998's groundbreaking iMac to the iPhone and the unprecedented ambition of Apple Park, where recently he has been putting so much of his energy and care," said Apple CEO Tim Cook.
Cook noted that Apple will continue to benefit from Ive's talents by working directly with him on exclusive projects, and through the ongoing work of the brilliant and passionate design team he's built.
"After so many years working closely together, I'm happy that our relationship continues to evolve and I look forward to working with Jony long into the future," said Cook.
It's impossible imagining Apple's devices without Ive, who designed most of Apple's most popular devices as its Chief Design Officer (CDO). Ive designed the iPhone, iPod, iPad, MacBook and parts of Apple's user interface, the iOS.
Ive has been responsible for all design at Apple since 1996 when he began leading the company's design team. He created the look and feel of Apple hardware, the user interface and packaging. He also played a key role in major architectural projects such as Apple Park and Apple's retail stores.
Apple's design team is today widely regarded as one of the world's best and its work has been recognized with numerous design awards. The team brings together creatives from around the world representing multiple disciplines.
Ive holds over 5,000 patents and has been recognized with numerous design awards. These include the Design Museum London's first Designer of the Year in 2003, the Design and Art Direction (D&AD) President's Award in 2005 (one of the most difficult to attain) and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum's Product Design Award in 2007.
"After nearly 30 years and countless projects, I am most proud of the lasting work we have done to create a design team, process and culture at Apple that is without peer," said Ive.
"Today it is stronger, more vibrant and more talented than at any point in Apple's history. I have the utmost confidence in my designer colleagues at Apple, who remain my closest friends, and I look forward to working with them for many years to come."
This article originally appeared in IBTimes US.