Apple is on the hunt for a new head of hardware design just three years after appointing its last one.
Evans Hankey, who replaced Jony Ive as the person in charge of Apple’s hardware design team, is reportedly on the way out of the role. Hankey had been at Apple for a number of years before taking the top job following Ive’s long awaited departure.
Hankey’s leaving Apple was announced within Apple earlier this week, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports. She’ll hang around for another six months while Apple works out who will take over, with none having been named so far. It’s likely Apple will have at least one name in mind already as part of a succession plan — although it isn’t clear who that might be.
“Apple’s design team brings together expert creatives from around the world and across many disciplines to imagine products that are undeniably Apple,” a spokesman said in a statement to Bloomberg. “The senior design team has strong leaders with decades of experience. Evans plans to stay on as we work through the transition, and we’d like to thank her for her leadership and contributions.”
Hankey’s taking over from Ive coincided with a return to form for Apple’s design team. Following years of questionable decisions that led to devices that looked great but suffered from serious design flaws — the MacBook Pro’s butterfly keyboard being a prime example — Hankey ushered in a change of tact. Since then we’ve seen brand new laptops that not only replaced the problematic keyboard but added ports, too.
The lack of ports had long been a bone of contention for Apple’s laptop users, with the company instead pointing them toward a sea of dongles in an attempt to turn USB-C and Thunderbolt ports into anything but.
As for Alan Dye, the other person promoted following the departure of Ive, he’s still around. Apple says that he’s going nowhere and remains in charge of design for software and user interfaces. Whether he could take over both roles remains to be seen.
All eyes will now be on Apple to see who picks up the mantle from Evans Hankey. And whether we will see a change in design approach once they do.