Hankey took over for former Apple design chief Jony Ive three years ago when he left to start his own independent firm. Hankey has been responsible for much of Apple’s industrial design work, from the look and feel of the company’s hardware to the methods used to produce them in large volumes.
She was never as well recognized as Ive, who is known in Apple lore as one of the key minds behind the introduction of the iMac, iPod and iPhone. Still, she was often quoted in the media after new products were launched, discussing specific design decisions and the way Apple’s design team works.
Ive was close with Apple founder Steve Jobs and reported directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook. Hankey reported to Jeff Williams, Apple’s COO.
Hankey worked closely with Alan Dye, who was in charge of the look and feel of Apple’s software, and who will remain at the company, according to Bloomberg News, which first reported Hankey’s departure.
Apple hasn’t named a replacement for Hankey, according to Bloomberg News, but the company told CNBC in a statement that she will remain at the company to manage the transition.
“Apple’s design team brings together expert creatives from around the world and across many disciplines to imagine products that are undeniably Apple. The senior design team has strong leaders with decades of experience. Evans plans to stay on as we work through the transition, and we’d like to thank her for her leadership and contributions,” an Apple representative said in a statement.
Apple stock was up about 2% midday Friday.