This weekend the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple’s design guru Jony Ive left frustrated because Tim Cook is not interested in product design and Apple is only about the money now. Now, the company’s CEO is calling the report "absurd" in an email to NBC News.
The WSJ’s story says that Ive was “dispirited” by Tim Cook “[showing] little interest in the product development process”. Cook, the report claims, rarely dropped by the design studio. Steve Jobs, on the other hand, was reportedly there, looking and evaluating the new toys, constantly giving input, and participating in the design process to the point of being the co-author of many patents. Ive and Jobs had a very close relationship and they were seen often wandering around the old Infinite Loop campus talking.
Ive, the report said, seemed to be fed up with a board of directors only interested in profits and not Apple’s core philosophies. Like Steve Jobs, Ive believes that Apple is about creating great products and its success spawns from there. The damning report, among many other negative things, also described growing conflicts with “some Apple leaders” about Apple Watch, a product development that reportedly made Ive want to take a break from his daily management responsibilities.
The report was so scathing that Cook has been compelled to write an email to NBC News to refute the story.
“The story is absurd. A lot of the reporting, and certainly the conclusions, just don’t match with reality,” Cook said. “At a base level, it shows a lack of understanding about how the design team works and how Apple works. It distorts relationships, decisions and events to the point that we just don’t recognize the company it claims to describe.”
Cook also told NBC that “the design team is phenomenally talented [...] they’re stronger than ever, and I have complete confidence that they will thrive under Jeff, Evans and Alan’s leadership [the new product heads].” The Apple CEO also says that they know the truth, and they know the incredible things they’re capable of doing. “The projects they’re working on will blow you away,” he promised. We will see if that means magic AR glasses or folding phones or what.
According to NBC, the Wall Street Journal stands by its reporting.