According to a report by the Times of London, Apple’s lead designer, Jonathan Ive, is considering moving back to the UK with his family. In 2008, Ive received a stock option grant that allowed him to purchase stocks now worth over $30 million—which he may cash in for an early retirement. The Ives want their children to be educated in English schools, but the hands-on nature of design and prototyping would make it difficult for Ive to continue his position at Apple from across the pond.
“Unfortunately he is just too valuable to Apple and they told him in no uncertain terms that if he headed back to England he would not be able to sustain his position with them … It’s a shame. We hardly ever see anyone at the house.”
Apple declined to comment on the matter, and regarded the report as “speculation”. If Ive were to leave Apple, it would be a serious blow to the company. He could always be replaced, but future products may not have the same “Ive-touch” that we have come to appreciate.