Stephen Fry, in a wonderfully-written essay about Apple’s design boss:
Until now, Ive’s job title has been Senior Vice President of Design. But I can reveal that he has just been promoted and is now Apple’s Chief Design Officer. It is therefore an especially exciting time for him.
Inside the fabled design studio (cloths over the long tables hiding the exciting new prototypes from prying eyes like mine) Jony has two people with him. They too have been promoted as part of Ive’s new role.
One is Richard Howarth, English as Vimto. “Richard is going to be our new head of Industrial Design,” says Jony. “And this is Alan Dye, the new head of User Interface.” Dye is a tall, amiable American.
In the piece, Ive says that Howarth and Dye will help him with administrative and management work. With a larger product portfolio then ever (or at least since Jobs’ return) and Campus 2 being built, there’s no doubt that Ive is a busy man. My guess is that this move was to help alleviate that stress, while also planning for a future without Ive as part of the company.