Apple's Jonathan Ive to spurn CEO job for UK return?

Apple design guru Jonathan "Jony" Ive is to move back to his Somerset home in the UK and commute to Cupertino, California when needed, reports state. And, naturally, this would take him out of the running to take over from Steve Jobs as CEO if the big man steps down permanently due to health issues.

It is said that Ive and his wife have long wanted their children to be educated in England, being parents of twin boys, but Apple is understandably at "loggerheads" with his decision to relocate. It could even cost him his current senior position within the company.

The Times spoke to an unnamed friend of his: "Unfortunately he is just too valuable to Apple and they told him in no uncertain terms that if he headed back to England he would not be able to sustain his position with them."

However, it's unlikely that Apple would be willing to jettison the chief designer of such products as the iPod, iPhone and iPad.

That said, it's not like he needs the money. A recent share option windfall has just awarded Ive an extra £18.5million ($30million), should he decide to sell up. It puts him onto the Sunday Times rich list, with an estimated fortune of £80million.

In the words of The Clash, should he stay or should he go? And what would happen to Apple if he did decide to quit? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below...