Going forward, the company’s group of “about 20” industrial designers will instead report to Apple COO Jeff Williams, and many of the team’s veteran designers will get bigger roles, Bloomberg reports. The change will notably broaden Williams’ purview; he already manages “global operations, the supply chain and AppleCare customer support, as well as software engineering for the watch and health efforts,” Bloomberg says. However, the publication notes that Apple could still name a new hardware design lead at some point in the future. Alan Dye will continue to lead software design.
The change could mark a major shift for Apple’s legendary hardware design group by putting it directly under the oversight of Williams, the company’s operations head. To be fair, the team has ultimately already been a part of his scope for some time given that Hankey has been reporting to Williams since Ive’s departure.
And Apple has been running design by committee since Ive’s departure given that the company split design leadership into Hankey’s and Dye’s roles. We’ll have to wait and see if this organizational change might affect the way Apple’s future hardware looks.
Apple didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment. The company reports its Q1 2023 earnings later on Thursday.