What's Going On with Jony Ive?S

With all the speculation and conjecture circling around Apple CEO Steve Jobs, you'd be forgiven for not paying attention to the company's design guru, Jonathan "Jony" Ive. But you should! Something's afoot.

So what's up? Put simply: Lots of cash and maybe a relocation back to his home in the U.K.

First up, the cash: Ive is reportedly on the cusp of cashing in the stock option grant he was awarded in 2008. The grand total? About $30 million, courtesy the meteoric success his company has seen since then.

Second, the trouble: With the money reportedly comes Ive's renewed desire to return to England with his wife and twin children, so that the kids can get an education there (probably around Somerset, where they own a $4 million home). And therein lies the rub, according to a report today in the Times of London:

"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 ... It's a shame. We hardly ever see anyone at the house."

Of course, it goes without saying this is all just rumor and speculation right now, right Apple?

Apple's spokesperson gave the Times a 'no comment' on the option grant and deemed the report of his desire to move to England "speculation." - TUAW

Ah yes, there it is. [Times of London via TUAW]