Apple's critically acclaimed designer Jonathan Ive is set to earn £18m from shares, as a three-year deal tying Ive to the company nears its end. The "golden handcuff" deal, agreed during the global market crash, saw Ive receive £7m worth of Apple shares. The shares are now worth £25m, and Ive is keen to use his new freedom to return to England, reports The Sunday Times. As the online Sunday Times is subscription-based, an article from the Daily Mail detailing the deal has been making the rounds on tech news sites instead.
Having spent nearly 20 years in the United States, Ive is hoping to return to his manor house in Somerset so that his children are educated in England. Apple superiors, however, are keen for Ive to stay near Apple's headquarters. A friend of Ive's family said:
Unfortunately he is just too valuable to Apple and they told him in no uncertain terms that if he headed back to England he would not be able to sustain his position with them
Credited with designing the iMac, Macbook, iPod and iPhone, Ive's influence has been felt throughout the gadget industry, from imitations to designs inspired by Ive's work. Ive has received numerous awards for his work, most recently being named "world's smartest designer" by Fortune. With Ive's iconic design a key selling point in Apple's products, Apple will most likely try to cater to his wishes and attempt to negotiate a solution that satisfies both parties.