Chances are good you’ve never heard the name Jonathan Ive – but you might be a fan of his work. Ive is the senior vice president of industrial design at Apple, and has played a key role in creating the design of the iPod, iPad, iPhone, iMac, and Apple’s MacBook line.
According to the Times, a UK paper, Ive is considering cashing out his Apple assets and returning to the United Kingdom where he would like to see his two children go to school. According to the paper, Apple has told Ive that if he chooses to return to the UK, he will not longer be able to work at the company.
Ive’s estimated worth is close to $128 million, so there’s a decent chance he might not care if he can continue to work post move. Given the health (and leave of absence) of Steve Jobs, however, Ive leaving the company could have a dramatic effect on the future of Apple as a company. Losing two of your key players? Never a good thing.
Like most Apple rumors, the story has not been confirmed by Apple or Ive, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens.
What do you think about the possibility of Ive leaving Apple? Do you think it will seriously hurt the company, or do you think that Apple can continue on in his absence?