The departure of Duncan Kerr, a veteran industrial designer at Apple since 1999, marks another major departure from the team previously led by Jony Ive. Kerr’s departure follows that of Bart Andre in February, another longtime designer who joined Apple in 1992. While Kerr’s future plans remain undisclosed, his role in shaping iconic Apple products like the iPhone, iPad and Mac is undeniable.

Shifting Tides: Apple’s Design Team After Jony Ive

These recent exits come after Jony Ive left in 2019, reportedly over a difference in design philosophy with CEO Tim Cook. Known for prioritizing aesthetics and minimalist design, Ive left to create LoveFrom, his design company focused on exceptional projects. Since then, a steady stream of senior designers from the Ive era have left Apple. Including Jody Akana, Anthony Ashcroft, Jeremy Batailleux, Joe Tan, Eugene Wang and Andrea Williams.

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The industry whispers, as reported by Bloomberg, suggest that this exodus stems from a sense of dissatisfaction with Apple’s new design direction under Jeff Williams, who took over after Ive’s departure. Williams, apparently more in agreement with Cook’s focus on practicality and functionality, is said to have introduced cost-saving measures and reduced investment in experimental projects, a hallmark of Ive’s leadership.

However, it is important to consider alternative perspectives. Many of the departing designers had dedicated more than two decades to the company. Retirement may be a natural next step for some.

Regardless of the specific reasons, these designer departures mark a shift in Apple’s design philosophy. Whether this means a noticeable change in future Apple products remains to be seen. The company will need to navigate this transition while ensuring a continued focus on innovative and user-centric design. A core principle that is fundamental to Apple’s success.

Another senior designer departs from Apple: Jony Ive’s team nearly depleted