[UPDATE: Official press release added below.]
While Apple prides itself in maintaining a tight group of 19 industrial design team members under Jony Ive, one longtime member Daniel Coster has made a rare exception to the general rule and departed the company for a new venture elsewhere. As a member of Apple’s design team, Coster’s name has appeared on patents dating back to 1999 ranging from the iPhone 4 design to the iPad Pro’s Smart Keyboard cover as well as software interfaces. Since departing from Apple, Coster has taken an executive role at action camera company GoPro.
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News of Coster’s departure was first reported today by The Information (paywall):
A member of Apple’s elite industrial design team, Danny Coster, is jumping ship, joining GoPro to head up a new hardware design group there.
The report goes on to note that GoPro announced the hire to employees in a company-wide email today, explaining that Coster would begin his role as VP of design at the end of the month. For GoPro fans, news that the action camera company is potentially getting a Jony Ive of their own should be positive for future product design.
And as Neil Cybart points out on Twitter, Coster had previously detailed his move from Apple to GoPro in an interview with New Zealand publication Stuff (Coster is a native of Wellington) in March:
What are your future goals in life?
“I want more time with my family and friends. And to explore this new opportunity at Go-Pro.”
The full interview, which was conducted by 14-year-old New Zealand student Scott Duncan, is a quick and interesting read.
And while Coster’s exit from Apple to GoPro may be positive news for the future design of action cameras, the rare departure is worth noticing after last year’s organizational shuffle in which Jony Ive moved from SVP of Design to Chief Design Officer, shedding day-to-day managerial duties and promoting two deputies to higher ranks in the meantime. Richard Howarth was promoted to VP of Industrial Design which covers hardware, while Alan Dye moved up to VP of User Interface Design overseeing software UI.
A single departure generally isn’t a huge blip on the radar, but in the case of Apple’s small design time which prides itself in rare turnover, it’s a point worth noting and could be indicative of more shuffling in the future. I, for one, welcome a future which may have sleeker looking GoPros, which currently look a bit dated to me, so long as it doesn’t come at a cost to Apple design.
GoPro Appoints Danny Coster Vice President of Design
Coster brings more than 20 years of storied design experience to GoPro
SAN MATEO, Calif., April 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — GoPro (NASDAQ: GPRO) today announced that Daniel (Danny) Coster has been named Vice President of Design, effective the end of April. He will report to GoPro CEO and founder Nick Woodman.
Mr. Coster will influence all aspects of design at GoPro in his new role, including hardware and software and services, lending his strategic vision and expertise to maximizing the GoPro user’s experience from end to end.
“Ironically, Danny and I first met in December, 2001, on the beach in Sayulita, Mexico at the very start of the five month surfing trip where I developed and tested the first GoPro prototype,” said Woodman. “His design pedigree speaks for itself, but I will say that we feel energized to have him join GoPro.”
A core member of Apple’s elite industrial design team for more than 20 years, Mr. Coster is credited for his contributions to a wide range of now iconic consumer electronics ranging from the iPhone 4 to the iPad wireless keyboard. He holds more than 500 design patents and several utility patents, and has been recognized by several international design organizations for his work.
“I’m honored to join the GoPro team,” said Coster. “This extraordinary company is close to the hearts of so many people around the world. Its brand and products inspire us to capture and share our lives’ most important moments. I’m excited to shape the future the incredible team at GoPro.”
About GoPro, Inc. (NASDAQ:GPRO) GoPro, Inc. is transforming the way people visually capture and share their lives. What began as an idea to help athletes self-document themselves engaged in their sport, GoPro has become a standard for how people capture themselves engaged in their interests, whatever they may be. From extreme to mainstream, professional to consumer, GoPro enables the world to capture and share its passion in the form of immersive and engaging content.
GOPRO® and HERO® are trademarks or registered trademarks of GoPro, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.