Apple chief executive Tim Cook has hit out at reports he fell out with departing design chief Sir Jony Ive, calling the claims “absurd”.
Ive, the British designer behind the iPhone, iPod and iMac, announced last week he was leaving Apple to set up an independent design company.
A report in the Wall Street Journal alleged Ive had been drifting away from Apple in recent years, leaving the design team rudderless.
In an email to an NBC journalist Cook said: “The story is absurd. A lot of the reporting, and certainly the conclusions, just don’t match with reality.”
Cook said: “It distorts relationships, decisions and events to the point that we just don’t recognise the company it claims to describe”.
He said the Apple design team is “phenomenally talented” and “stronger than ever”.
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Ive said on his departure: “After nearly 30 years and countless projects, I am most proud of the lasting work we have done to create a design team, process and culture at Apple that is without peer.”
Ive’s new venture, Lovefrom, is based in California and will launch fully next year.
Last week Cook said: “Jony is a singular figure in the design world and his role in Apple’s revival cannot be overstated.
“Apple will continue to benefit from Jony’s talents by working directly with him on exclusive projects, and through the ongoing work of the brilliant and passionate design team he has built.”