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Lead Apple Software Designer To Leave Company

Apple Human Interface Vice President Greg Christie is leaving Apple after nearly two decades with the company.
Posted at 2:30 PM, Apr 10, 2014

Apple's design team is being shaken up following the departure of a high-ranking staff member.

"A key departure coming from Apple yesterday — Greg Christie, a vice-president engineer that helped develop the software for the original iPhone. He plans to leave the company after being with the company for 18 years." (Via CNBC)

9to5Mac reports Christie is Apple's VP of human interface. The outlet claims he'll be leaving the company after a clash with Apple's chief designer, Jony Ive.

MacRumors writes Christie and Ive's falling out happened during the redesign of iOS. The two reportedly "clashed over design direction, after which Ive is said to have circumvented Christie's leadership of the team during the new operating system's development."

Though there may have been a clash, other sources tend to downplay the idea that it's what caused Christie to leave the company.

Apple issued a statement to Financial Times reporter Tim Bradshaw saying Christie had been planning to retire later this year. (Via Twitter / @tim)

In a blog post Bradshaw wrote in The Financial Times, he points out Apple rarely puts its employees in the spotlight like it has Mr. Christie, but that's because Christie is a large player in the company's most recent patent battle with Samsung.

Christie appeared as a witness in court last week over several patents in dispute, including the "slide-to-unlock feature" for which he is listed as the inventor. (Via The Wall Street Journal)

All software designers will now work directly under Ive, along with the industrial design team.