In response to this post – Apple Should Buy Tesla, Name Elon Musk CEO, I stated the following on Google +:
I personally believe that with Steve Jobs gone, Jony Ive is currently irreplaceable at Apple.
And this is a very worrying position to be in as a company. I hope someone is being groomed to take over from Jony when he eventually goes.
Subsequently, I came across this article on Forbes, which supports my view of Ive’s importance to Apple.
“Could Jony Ive be the CEO of Apple?” I asked Leander Kahney, editor of the popular Cult of Mac blog and author of the forthcoming biography of Ive, Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products. “He could,” Kahney replied, “but he doesn’t want to be.” After meticulously researching his subject (with no help from Apple, of course) Kahney has come to the conclusion that, “All Jony ever wanted to do was design.”
…More importantly, Ive gets to design, and oversee the design, of the products of the world’s most valuable company—and not have to worry about unit sales, shareholder complaints or other annoyances of the chief executive. Ive has a loyal team of designers to work with and he has been adding to those ranks newcomers with experience in health monitoring, high-end fashion and wearables. Ive’s subterranean design studio at Apple is apparently a playground that provides Apple with innumerable options for the next big thing. He dosen’t have to make the hard decisions that Steve Jobs had to make to save Apple in its pre-boom days, but his vision sets the stage for everything that will be coming out of Apple in the coming years.