Sir Jonathan Ive, head of design at Apple, has been knighted at Buckingham Palace.
The BBC reports that Apple's senior vice-president of industrial design said he is "both humbled and sincerely grateful" for what he labelled an "absolutely thrilling honour".
Ive who worked alongside Apple's Steve Jobs designing such classics as the iPod, iPad and iMac, has been with the company since 1992. It took just four years for him to become head of design.
Jobs told biographer Walter Isaacson that he set up a company structure at Apple in which "There's no one who can tell him [Ive] what to do." AppleInsider also reports that Jobs viewed Ive as his "spiritual partner" at Apple.
Previously he had set up a design agency called Tangerine. According the BBC, Apple, one of the agency's clients, was sufficiently impressed with his work as to offer him a full time job in their California headquarters.
Chingford-born and bred, Ive studied at Newcastle Polytechnic, now known as Northumbria University.
"I am keenly aware that I benefit from a wonderful tradition in the UK of designing and making,'' Ive, 44, said in a statement when he received his New Year's honour. "To be recognized with this honour is absolutely thrilling and I am both humbled and sincerely grateful. I discovered at an early age that all I've ever wanted to do is design. I feel enormously fortunate that I continue to be able to design and make products with a truly remarkable group of people here at Apple."
Ive was previously awarded Commander of the British Empire in 2006.
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