Most Apple employees aren't concerned about the departure of Apple design chief Jony Ive, who played a pivotal role in creating the iPhone and iPad. And even without him, they say, Apple will remain a leader in tech design.
In a survey Fortune conducted with Blind, an anonymous social network for discussing workplace issues, 52% of Apple employees said that Ive's resignation, announced last week, will have no impact on the company's future. Another 22% said Ive's departure would actually be a positive while only 26% worried that it may hurt Apple.
The findings undermine the idea that Ive's departure, at least in the opinion of Apple employees, is a major loss for the company. Although he was a key lieutenant, first under Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, and then current CEO Tim Cook, the general sense among Apple rank and file is that Apple will be just fine without him.
Since the announcement, however, both Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal reported that sources inside Apple had said Ive had become disengaged with Apple and from Cook in recent years over concerns that Cook favored profitability over design. The reports also said that Ive had reduced his duties over the past few years and would only show up at Apple's headquarters a couple days a week.
Earlier this week, Cook blasted those reports, saying that they were "absurd" and "just don't match with reality."
The Fortune-Blind findings shed light on what Apple employees really think behind the scenes. Those findings are based on responses through Blind from just over 100 Apple employees, on Monday and Tuesday.
Blind, a social network that is used by employees to share office gossip and salaries, confirmed the respondents as Apple employees based on their corporate Apple email addresses. The respondents identified themselves as working across Apple, including in engineering, operations, research and development, and design team—the team that Ive led.
In addition to weighing in on Ive's departure, 73% of Apple employees who responded said that Ive was important to Apple's past success. Only 8% of employees said he wasn't important.
Even so, Apple's employees were confident that Apple, absent Ive, would continue to be strong in product design. More than three-quarters predicted that Apple would be a product design leader.
Tech workers from other companies echoed the positive opinions within Apple.
In a broader survey of more than 2,000 tech employees on Blind, 48% said Ive's departure won't affect Apple. Another 14% said that his leaving could be good while another 38% said it could hurt the company.
Overall, 70% of tech industry employees predicted that Apple would remain a product design leader.
In any case, Ive won't go far after leaving Apple. He plans to create a design firm that already has a contract to work with Apple on its products.