Image: An Apple Store in Shibuya, Japan. Flickr user Dick Thomas Johnson // CC 2.0 License

Bart Andre, a longstanding figure within Apple’s design team, is now parting ways with the company, in a development that draws a significant chapter to a close in the company’s history, according to a report from Bloomberg. With a career spanning over 30 years, Andre’s departure marks the end of an era that saw the launch of some of Apple’s most iconic products, including the iPhone, iPod and more recently, the Vision Pro.

With the industrial design and software design teams now reporting to Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams, Apple has undergone a significant restructuring of its design leadership. While Williams brings a wealth of operational experience to the role, some reports suggest a clash between Williams’ pragmatic approach and the exploratory spirit nurtured by Ive, where projects explored even without immediate financial returns. Whether these speculations are responsible for the exodus of Apple veterans or not remains uncertain until we receive an official confirmation from the tech behemoth.

Joining Apple in 1992 alongside the legendary Jony Ive, Bart Andre quickly rose through the ranks to become one of Ive’s most trusted collaborators. As a key member of the industrial design team, Andre played a pivotal role in shaping the iconic designs of numerous Apple products that have defined the company’s image over the years. From the groundbreaking iPhone to the sleek and sophisticated Apple Watch, Andre’s fingerprints are indelibly stamped on some of Apple’s most beloved and successful products, and he had been running the team ever since former Apple exec Evans Hankey parted ways with the company five years ago.

Andre, one of Ive’s key lieutenants, was also instrumental in translating vision into reality. His departure follows a string of exits by senior designers like Colin Burns, Shota Aoyagi, and Peter Russell-Clarke, leaving a void in the team’s design lineage. After all, Andre’s 32-year tenure at Apple translates to a vast repository of institutional knowledge, design expertise, and historical context about iconic products. Filling that void with new talent might take time and resources. Going forward, the company aims to continue to recruit top talent from diverse backgrounds.

This development raises more than a few questions. On the one hand, concerns linger about the potential loss of Apple’s design edge. Will future products maintain the same level of innovation that users have come to expect? On the other hand, the influx of new design talent from outside Apple is likely to bring diverse perspectives and potentially groundbreaking ideas. Still, successfully integrating these new voices with the existing design language and culture will be crucial.