Ive reported, at least initially, to Jon Rubinstein, whom Jobs had brought in to head the hardware division,
but he developed a direct and unusually strong relationship with Jobs.
They began to have lunch together regularly,
and Jobs would end his day by dropping by Ive's design studio for a chat.
"Jony had a special status," said Laurene Powell. "He would come by our house, and our families became close.
Steve is never intentionally wounding to him. Most people in Steve's life are replaceable. But not Jony."
Jobs described to me his respect for Ive: The difference that Jony has made, not only at Apple but in the world, is huge.
He is a wickedly intelligent person in all ways. He understands business concepts, marketing concepts.
He picks stuff up just like that, click. He understands what we do at our core better than anyone.
If I had a spiritual partner at Apple, it's Jony.
Jony and I think up most of the products together
and then pull others in and say, "Hey, what do you think about this?"
He gets the big picture as well as the most infinitesimal details about each product.
And he understands that Apple is a product company.
He's not just a designer. That's why he works directly for me.
He has more operational power than anyone else at Apple except me.
There's no one who can tell him what to do, or to butt out. That's the way I set it up.