Apple has confirmed to Bloomberg that its head of industrial design, Evans Hankey, who previously replaced Jony Ive, is leaving after three years on the job. It is unknown at this time who will replace her.
According to reports, Hankey will remain in her position for six months as part of a transition period. For his part, Alan Dye, who took over the reins of software design from Ive in 2019, will remain in his position.
But there is some good news. Bloomberg sources claim that Gary Butcher is returning to Apple. He was one of Dye’s top designers and is now vice president of design at Airbnb. However, it’s still unclear what responsibilities Butcher may take over after his return.
There were a lot of expectations for Hankey when she took the job. Ive was responsible for many of Apple’s iconic hardware designs, including the iMac, iPod, and iPhone. While it’s unclear how much of an impact Hanky has had on product design, she has overseen a combination of significant changes and subtle evolutions during her tenure.
That doesn’t necessarily mean trouble for Apple. It does, however, raise the possibility of a change in design direction, especially for products in unfamiliar categories.