There were reports late last week that Jonathan Ive, the man behind the design of all recent Apple products, may be about to quit his job and move back to the UK.
It is being suggested that Ive wants to go home so his two children can have an education in the UK. But the Apple board has said if he does then he won’t be able to continue working for Apple in his current capacity. Ive would be Apple’s design go-to guy no more.
Ive has another option to consider too. An option grant issued in 2008 is now worth $30 million and restrictions on claiming it have ended this year. If he used the option, along with his other Apple stock, he’d walk away from the company with around $128 million, along with whatever personal fortune he has already managed to accrue over his years there.
If true, this is another blow for Apple. It’s unclear how ill Steve Jobs is and if he’ll ever return to Apple full-time. The board refuses to discuss a succession plan for Jobs, and now the company’s number one designer may be about to quit.
If Ive does decide to leave there would be no shortage of job offers waiting for him in the UK.