Is Jonathan Ive leaving Apple?

Jonathan Ive Apple news: Just returning from a vacation in Seward, Alaska ("holiday" in Europe), the first news story I read is that Jonathan Ive may be considering leaving Apple. For those who don't know of him, Mr. Ive is the Vice President of Industrial Design at Apple, and is known as the Apple designer behind many of the Apple products you've come to know, including the iPod, iMac, iPhone, and iPad.

Mr. Ive is rumored to be thinking about leaving Apple because he and his wife (a historian, if I remember correctly) would like to raise their children in their native England (as opposed to Silicon Valley, where they currently live). Meanwhile, Apple is said to be not willing to let him work from England. Also behind the rumor is that Mr. Ive is scheduled to receive a stock option grant this year worth $30M. If he took that option his net worth is rumored to be approximately $132M. (The surprise there for me is that his net worth isn't much more than that.)

Apple designers and industrial design

This is actually a very interesting story/rumor because many of Apple's designers come from other countries. Off the top of my head, I believe several of their other top designers come from Italy, Germany, and other countries outside the United States, so if they allow Mr. Ive to live and work in England, it opens up a can of worms with their other designers as well.

As a fan of Apple's products and industrial design, losing Jonathan Ive while also contemplating life without Steve Jobs would be a major one-two blow to Apple. Mr. Ive is often mentioned as one of the leading candidates to succeed Mr. Jobs when that time comes.

Links to Jonathan Ive articles and news stories

If you're just now hearing about Mr. Ive, I have written several articles about him before, including Jonathan Ive design interview quotes, and Things I've learned from Apple's Jonathan Ive. I've read this story on several different websites now, including Mashable and Mail Online. (The website that may have started this rumor is behind a paywall, so sorry, I won't bother linking to them.)

In a barely-related story, I just finished looking at the MacBook Air at Best Buy in Anchorage on the way back from my vacation. If Apple made a 15" MacBook Air I'm sure I would have bought one, but because the largest current model is 13.3", I took a pass on it today. (Dear Mr. Ive: Why doesn't Apple make a 15" model?)