The man who designed the iMac, the iPod, the iPhone—and even the Apple Store—is leaving Apple. Jony Ive announced in an interview with the Financial Times on Thursday that he was departing the company after more than two decades to start LoveFrom, a creative agency that will count Apple as its first client. The transition will start later this year, and LoveFrom will formally launch in 2020.

Ive has been an indispensable leader at Apple and the chief guide of the company’s aesthetic vision. His role took on even greater importance after Apple cofounder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011. Apple will not immediately appoint a new chief design officer. Instead, Alan Dye, who leads Apple’s user interface team, and Evans Hankey, head of industrial design, will report directly to Apple’s chief operating officer, Jeff Williams, according to the Financial Times.

“This just seems like a natural and gentle time to make this change,” Ive said in the interview, somewhat perplexingly. Apple’s business is currently weathering many changes: slumping iPhone sales, an increasingly tense trade war between President Trump’s administration and China, the April departure of retail chief Angela Ahrendts. The company is also in the midst of a pivot away from hardware devices to software services.

It’s not clear exactly what LoveFrom will work on, and Ive was relatively vague about the nature of the firm, though he said he will continue to work on technology and health care. Another Apple design employee, Marc Newson, is also leaving to join the new venture. This isn’t the first time the pair have worked on a non-Apple project together. In 2013, they designed a custom Leica camera that was sold at auction to benefit the Global Fund fighting AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.

During an interview with Anna Wintour last November at the WIRED25 summit, Ive discussed the creative process and how he sees his responsibility as a mentor at Apple. “I still think it’s so remarkable that ideas that can become so powerful and so literally world-changing,” he said. “But those same ideas at the beginning are shockingly fragile. I think the creative process doesn’t naturally or easily sit in a large group of people.”

Ive left the London design studio Tangerine and moved to California to join Apple in 1992. He became senior vice president of industrial design in 1997, after Jobs returned to the company. The next year, the iMac G3 was released, which would prove to be Ive’s first major hit, helping to turn around Apple’s then struggling business. He later helped oversee the design of Apple’s new headquarters, Apple Park.

“It’s frustrating to talk about this building in terms of absurd, large numbers,” Ive told WIRED’s Steven Levy when the campus opened in 2017. “It makes for an impressive statistic, but you don’t live in an impressive statistic. While it is a technical marvel to make glass at this scale, that’s not the achievement. The achievement is to make a building where so many people can connect and collaborate and walk and talk.”

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