When Jony Ive announced in July 2019 that he was leaving Apple, there was rampant speculation as to why. Some thought it was due to a shift to services, others mused that Ive was bored since Apple’s products had become more iterative following Steve Jobs’ passing. But the real reason has nothing to do with a product at all, it was a product announcement.
According to New York Times reporter Tripp Mickle’s new book, “After Steve: How Apple Became a Trillion-Dollar Company and Lost Its Soul,” Jony Ive’s souring on his position at Apple began with the Apple Watch introduction in September 2014. Ahead of the event, Ive pushed CEO Tim Cook to remove two dozen trees from the De Anza College campus next to the Flint Center for the Performing Arts to erect an extravagant white tent for the hands-on area.
After much debate, Ive got his wish, but people close to him say he saw it as a Pyrrhic victory and felt the issue was one of “the first moments that he felt unsupported at Apple.” In the following months and years, Mickle writes, Ive openly griped about “corporate bloat, chafed at Mr. Cook’s egalitarian structure, lamented the rise of operational leaders, and struggled with a shift in the company’s focus from making devices to developing services.”
The book covers Ive’s close relationship with Steve Jobs as well as his 20-year history at Apple. It also reveals his “wilderness of grief” following Jobs’s death, clashes with Apple’s finance team, and $100 million-plus exit package. The book arrives on Tuesday, May 3, and can be preordered on Apple Books or wherever books are sold.