Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) confirmed the retirement of Greg Christie, its chief of human interface team responsible in designing the iOS software that powers its products such as the iPhone and iPad.

Christie is one of the inventors of several of the patented technologies integrated in the iPhone including the “slide to unlock system,” which is one of the patents in question in the ongoing case between Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd (KRX:005935).

Jony Ive, senior vice president of design and was considered by the late Steve Jobs as his “spiritual partner” will take over the software design team led by Christie. Ive will now have full control of the overall design of the products of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).

An earlier report from 9to5Mac suggested that Christie’s departure was caused by a “friction” between him and Ive. According to the site, the executives clashed regarding the design direction during the development of the iOS 7 released in September last year.

A related report from Tech Crunch indicated that Christie’s departure was known several weeks earlier, and there is less or lack of drama in the leadership transition. The site noted, “If there was any ill-will between Christie and Ive, it doesn’t appear to have taken the form of any open conflict and a flare-up of friction was apparently not behind this exit

A spokesperson for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) said, “Greg has been planning to retire later this year after nearly 20 years at Apple. He has made vital contributions to Apple products across the board and built a world-class human interface team, which has worked closely with Jony for many years.”

Separately, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) reportedly hired high-level baseband hardware engineers from Broadcom, which ignited speculations that it is planning to develop its own baseband processors.

The two engineers who joined the tech giant were Paul Chang and Xiping Wang. Both executives worked for Broadcom for more than a decade. Chang led RF Hardware while Xiping served as design engineer and hardware development manager at Broadcom.