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Monday, March 21, 2011, 04:50 am PT (07:50 am ET)

Speculation that Apple designer Jony Ive leaving to UK said to be false

A new profile of Apple's design chief Jony Ive pours cold water on rumors that the U.K. native plans to leave his job to move back to his home country.

Ive was profiled in a piece by the Daily Mail, in a story that features comments from friends and former colleagues. The 44-year-old Essex-born designer was recently rumored to be planning to cash in some $30 million stock options and to move back to the U.K.

But a former colleague of Ive's reportedly indicated that those rumors are "false."

"I'm not sure there is any truth he wants to come back," they said. "My last conversations with him were that he was planning to sell his house in the U.K."

In February, the Times of London reported that Apple gave Ive a "golden handcuffs" option grant in 2008. Since then, the amount had reportedly grown so much that Ive's profits could reach $30 million.

That report claimed that Ive and Apple were "at loggerheads" over the distance from his $4 million home in Somerset, U.K., to Apple's Cupertino, Calif., campus.

But this week's profile by the Daily Mail aims to dispel that rumor, noting that his home in Somerset is now empty. It also revealed that he will receive £15 million in Apple shares next year alone.

Those who commented for the story also lamented that Britain "lost" Ive, one of its greatest talents, to the U.S. Sir James Dyson, famed inventor of the Dual Cyclone bagless vacuum cleaner, said he wished Britain could keep the "brilliant minds" it has created.