In October 2015, Huawei revealed that Abigail Brody, who previously worked at Apple and helped to design the user interface for the iPhone and other products, was coming on board to help improve Huawei’s EMUI skin on Android. Now, less than two years later, a new report says that Brody has departed Huawei.
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According to The Information (paid subscription required), Brody confirmed she has left Huawei for unnamed “personal reasons”. At the time of her hiring in 2015, Huawei said that Brody would assist the China-based company to improve its user interface skin so it could compete globally and have it look less than Apple’s UI. In 2016, she stated in an interview that she wanted Huawei’s smartphones to have the “world’s first truly soulful, emotional, all-empowering and compassionate Operating System of the human mind and soul.”
However, The Information reports, via unnamed sources, that Brody turned out not to be a good fit with Huawei. In fact, it claims that her ideas for changing EMUI did not get much support from inside the company. Also, her location in San Francisco may have been too far away from Huawei’s Shenzhen headquarters to coordinate her ideas with the top executives.
While the company did launch EMUI 5.0 in 2016, there’s no word on how much influence Brody had over its design. Her departure may indicate that Huawei, and other China-based smartphone companies, will have to work harder to recruit top US talent.