London-born designer Sir Jonathan Ive has been named Apple’s new chief design officer.
The position was created specifically for Ive who has previously served as Apple’s senior vice president of design, overseeing some of the firm’s most significant developments and products, including the iPod, iPhone and iPad, as well as this year's Apple Watch.
Sir Jonathan, knighted in 2012 for services to design, joined Apple in 1992. Over the years, he developed a close relationship with Apple’s late CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs.
Sir Jonathan's promotion was first revealed in an interview with The Daily Telegraph, and confirmed in an internal memo from Apple chief Tim Cook published by blog 9to5Mac.
The new role will expand Ive’s responsibilities beyond hardware and software products to also include the company's retail stores, the new headquarters currently being built in Cupertino, California, and even the furniture that will be placed within it.
"Jony is one of the most talented and accomplished designers of his generation, with an astonishing 5,000 design and utility patents to his name,” Cook said in the memo. “His new role is a reflection of the scope of work he has been doing at Apple for some time."
In the interview with the Telegraph, Sir Jonathan revealed that the promotion will enable him to travel from Apple's secretive design lab more often, as he will now delegate some administrative duties to other, newly promoted executives, freeing him up to focus on designing Apple's new Campus 2 headquarters.
Fellow British employee Richard Howarth has been made vice president of industrial design, with Alan Dye being made the firm's new vice president of user interface design. Both men will report to Sir Jonathan, with the transition set to take place on 1 July.
Howarth has worked on the iPhone since the first generation of the device was released in 2007, and he will continue to focus on hardware.
Dye was said to be a crucial player in the overhaul and redesign of iOS 7, Apple's mobile operating system, and helped tp create the interface for the newly launched Apple Watch. He will now focus on Apple software.
The Campus 2 site, known as the "spaceship", was said to have been signed off by Steve Jobs before his death in 2011.
The new site, due to open in early 2017, will reportedly use 100 per cent renewable energy and provide room for 12,000 employees and a 1,000-seater theatre where Apple will conduct future live events and product launches.