Home rental company Airbnb on Wednesday said it was hiring former Apple designer Jony Ive and his firm LoveFrom to design new Airbnb products and services under a multi-year deal. Ive was a close creative collaborator with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.
Ive spent nearly three decades at Apple, leading the design of the candy-coloured iMacs that helped Apple re-emerge from near death in the 1990s and the design of the iPhone.
He left Apple last year. In a blog announcing the work relationship, Airbnb Chief Executive Brian Chesky said Ive will also help develop the Airbnb internal design team. “Jony and I have been good friends for many years, and he has been gracious enough to provide me with guidance and advice. We share the same belief in the value and importance of creativity and design. We each believe not only in making objects and interfaces, but in crafting services and experiences. We’ve seen how design can facilitate trust and enable more human connection, something people are desperate for during an unprecedented time of loneliness and disconnection,” Chesky said.
Airbnb on Wednesday told employees Chief Design Officer Alex Schleifer would be moving to a part-time role and that the company would be looking for a permanent replacement, according to a source close to the company.
The deal with Ive and his firm, LoveFrom, coincides with Airbnb’s effort to raise around $3 billion (roughly Rs. 22,100 crores) in its upcoming initial public offering, according to sources.
Airbnb is expected to be one of the largest and most anticipated US stock market listings of 2020 which has already been a blockbuster year for IPOs.