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Terry Sullivan

Bart Andre, Apple's longest-serving designer, to retire

This is a modified image of Apple's logo (shown 4 times) .

It appears that the last remaining member of Apple’s brilliant creative design team, the one led by Jony Ive, which produced some of the most successful and popular consumer electronics products in history, will leave the company.

Bart Andre, one of Apple's longest-serving industrial designers, told colleagues earlier this month, that he is retiring, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. His departure marks the “near-complete turnover of a team, once led by Jony Ive, who left Apple in 2019. In other words, Apple's remarkable design team has, in effect, been completely redesigned! 

Apple hired Andre in 1992, around the same time they hired Jony Ive. In fact, Andre was part of Ive's team before Steve Jobs returned to the company in the late 1990s. 

Gurman also wrote that Andre “helped run the team after former chief Evans Hankey, Ive’s successor, departed last year.” Additionally, Andre is also one of the biggest holders of Apple patents. 

As an industrial designer who was essential to the design team for more than three decades, it’s hard to over emphasize just how important Andre’s impact has been on Apple products. “The Apple design team is tasked with devising the look and feel of devices and software, as well as developing new features and interfaces. That includes minute details like the sound of ringtones and alerts from an iPhone,” writes Gurman.

The last remaining designer from the Jony Ive creative team to retire

Andre’s retirement is yet another example of what many in the tech world see as a continuation of Apple's "brain drain," which the company has been dealing with since Ive's departure in 2019. 

For example, at the end of last year, Tang Tan, Apple's chief product designer, left to join Jony Ive’s design firm, LoveFrom, where Tan will lead the hardware engineering team on the project. But Apple has lost quite a number of other important executives and design leaders. For instance, there was news recently that Steve Hotelling, an influential executive and inventor at Apple, had decided to retire. 

But Hotelling and Tan were just the most recent. Other designers and executives that have left recently include Evans Hankey, Patrick Coffman, Colin Burns, and Shota Aoyagi. 

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