Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Apple’s lead designer is leaving the company just three years after replacing Ive

Apple is facing a major departure from its corporate leadership as Evans Hankey, head of hardware design, announced that she will be leaving the role earlier this week. Hankey has been Apple’s head of hardware design since 2019 and told colleagues that she will remain in her position for the next six months before her official departure in 2023. While people may be anxious to know who will be replacing her once she leaves, no successor has been named.

Hankey’s departure marks a significant change in Apple’s research and development department, especially because her time as head of hardware design was relatively brief when comparing it to Jony Ive , who held the position for 20 years before being replaced by her. Both Ive and Hankey have been responsible for shipping some of Apple’s most iconic devices, so whoever steps up as the new department head will have quite the reputation to follow.

The Apple logo on the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

With Hankey leaving, there is plenty of speculation already stirring about the production of Apple’s ambitious, albeit still relatively unknown future endeavors, such as its VR headset and AR glasses. Because the company is poised to start breaking new ground with its upcoming devices, having a new, unknown hardware designer helming things turns all future projects into big question marks — or rather, into even bigger question marks.

In a statement to Bloomberg regarding the future of its hardware design department, an Apple spokesman said: “Apple’s design team brings together expert creatives from around the world and across many disciplines to imagine products that are undeniably Apple.” The spokesman also noted that the company’s design team has “strong leaders with decades of experience.”

Based on the fact that Hankey reported to Ive as a part of the design team before eventually replacing him in the role, it seems like a safe bet to assume that the new head of hardware design will be stepping up from a different internal design position. This is a pretty common trend as Apple tends to find replacements for its most senior positions by looking to people who are already familiar with its process as opposed to complete newcomers to the company. However, it’s still possible, if unlikely, that Apple might look elsewhere for a replacement. Until the company makes an official announcement, we’ll all just have to wait.

Editors' Recommendations

Peter Hunt Szpytek
A podcast host and journalist, Peter covers mobile news with Digital Trends and gaming news, reviews, and guides for sites…
Apple sold a whopping $48 billion worth of iPhones in just three months
iPhone 12 range

Seems like a lot of folks were holding out for the iPhone 12, with its all-new design, improved display, and 5G capability, among other features.

Apple has just reported record revenue for a non-holiday quarter, coming in at a colossal $89.6 billion for the three months ending March 27, 2021, and marking a year-on-year increase of 54%. A whopping $47.9 billion of that came from iPhone sales, which included not only the iPhone 12 but also the iPhone 11, XR, and SE2. That's up from $29 billion for the same period a year earlier.

Read more
Apple’s former design guru Jony Ive gets into bed with Airbnb
jony ive becomes apple chief design officer

The man who helped design some of Apple’s most iconic products is teaming up with online accommodation service Airbnb.

Jony Ive, the tech giant’s former head of design who created the unique look of everything from the iPhone and Apple Watch to the iMac and MacBook, will work with Airbnb through his own, newly founded design firm, LoveFrom.

Read more
The revolutionary, original iMac turns 22 today. Can Apple recapture its magic?
making plant based art is good way to use old macs your mac imac g3

Twenty-two years ago, the first iMac hit the scene, and it was revolutionary. The iMac G3 the computing world and forever left a mark on the industry.

The iMac is again on the cusp of another revolution. No, not on the latest update to the 5K 27-inch iMac. I'm talking about the rumored relaunch of the line, complete with a visual redesign and a new Apple Silicon processor said to be just over the horizon.

Read more