In a surprise notice late on Thursday, June 20, 2019, Apple announced that its chief design officer, Jonathan "Jony" Ive, would be leaving the company later in the year. With nearly 5,000 patents to his name, Ive was the guru behind the design of Apple's most iconic products—the iMac, the MacBook, the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad, and the Apple Watch. Working side by side with Apple's founder, Steve Jobs, Ive led what was arguably the most successful design operation in the history of business, and the inspiration for a whole new generation of consumer electronics. It was not an exaggeration to say that the work of his design team had rescued Apple from the edge of the abyss, and made it one of the most highly valued companies in the world. The news of his departure hit the company hard: its share price dropped quickly, wiping out over $8 billion in market value.
Could Apple's new CEO, Tim Cook, ever replace Ive? What was the future of the company without him?