updated 09:30 am EDT, Mon March 21, 2011
Somerset mansion 'standing empty'
Jonathan Ive is not preparing to leave the US to return to his native Britain, claims British tabloid the Daily Mail. The Times of London recently suggested that Ive, Apple's lead designer, was interested in having his children educated in the UK, to the point of possibly exercising stock options and/or leaving the company in order to make it happen. A 2008 stock grant was likened to "golden handcuffs," and Ive has allegedly been at "loggerheads" with Apple trying to come up with a new arrangement.
In a new profile of Ive, the Mail insists that it is false that he is planning to relocate to a mansion he owns in Somerset. The property is said to be "standing empty," and as backing evidence the Mail cites someone only identified as a former colleague. "I'm not sure there is any truth he wants to come back," the person is quoted as saying. "My last conversations with him were that he was planning to sell his house in the UK."
The Mail adds that Ive should receive some £15 million in Apple shares next year. The designer is considered extremely important to Apple's success, having designed core products like the iPod, iPad and iMac. The corporation may be willing to pay virtually any sum to keep him onboard, as he may be as important as CEO Steve Jobs, and too great a threat in the hands of another company.