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Apple's Jony Ive Remembers Steve Jobs: 'There Wasn't This Grand Plan of Winning'

Ive's recollection of Jobs "stands in such stark contrast to the way he’s been frequently and popularly displayed.”

Magnolia Pictures

On Monday, which marked the fourth anniversary of Steve Jobs’s passing, Apple’s top executives offered personal tributes to the iconic founder. On Wednesday, Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer and a close Jobs confidant, shared his own.

“I was faced with this wall of grief,” he said of the time, in the final session of the Vanity Fair Summit in San Francisco. Yet four years later, Ive said he now remembers the attributes of Jobs that were “essentially him,” claiming they were not the more acerbic qualities that have often attached to him.

“What’s remained is somehow shocking in how unremarkable it is,” he said. “It was his very, very simple focus on trying to make something really beautiful and great. And it really was simple. Heartwarmingly simple. There wasn’t this grand plan of winning or a competitive agenda.”

Although Ive shared the stage with filmmaker J.J. Abrams, Ive did not note the forthcoming film about Apple’s founder, which many at Apple are not fond of. He hinted at it, recalling how ecstatic Jobs would get during the product design phase.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody so happy as I’ve seen him, in that really simple joy,” he said. “That obviously stands in such stark contrast to the way he’s been frequently and popularly displayed.”

Later, during the audience questions, Ive was asked if he had seen the imminent Sony film about Jobs. He has not. But he did bemoan the fact that “how you are defined and how you are portrayed can be hijacked by people with agendas that are very different from your close family and friends.”

He went on: “We are remembering Steve’s life. And, at the same time, beautifully choreographed, is the timing of this movie. And I don’t recognize this person at all.”

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