Greg Christie, Apple’s Human Interface VP joined Apple in 1996 and worked very closely with Scott Forstall and Steve Jobs on the original iPhone and Mac. Greg Christie who was currently heading the Apple’s software design under Craig Federighi was not getting along with Senior VP Jonathan Ive.
According to MacRumors, Ive instructed the Human Interface team, i.e. Greg’s team to rework on iOS 7 to totally change the look, Christie and Ive reportedly clashed over the design direction eventually leading Christie to leave Apple. This would lead to all software designers working directly under Ive besides his industrial design team. Post Christie’s exit, Ive will be spearheading Hardware and Software Design team at Apple.
Greg Christie was recently in interviews with WSJ and NPR for Samsung/Apple trial because of his role as a key engineer for iPhone. Also, Greg Christie has around hundred Apple patents in his name like “slide to unlock” making him a key witness for Apple in court. He has been a key VP with plenty of trade secrets from the past to now, his exit would surely be a significant loss to Apple.
According to FT Tech blog, Apple has confirmed Greg Christie’s exit stating:
“Greg has been planning to retire later this year after nearly 20 years at Apple. He has made vital contributions to Apple products across the board, and built a world-class Human Interface team which has worked closely with Jony for many years.”