GM Design Announces Changes

Jun 24, 2012
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GM Global Design announced a revised organizational structure and executive appointments that align it more closely with the company’s brands across its network of 10 Design Centers around the world.

“This new structure provides a foundation to build and grow the design language for each of our brands moving forward,” said Ed Welburn, GM vice president for Global Design. “It gives our design teams a greater opportunity to create products and brands that have an emotional connection with our customers and that continue to move our company forward.”

GM Vice President for Global Design, Ed Welburn


The revised structure also increases the role of GM’s Advanced Design Centers, which are strategically located in the United States, Germany, Korea, China and Australia.

“Strengthening our Advanced Design organization will allow us to help the company develop innovative new technologies and strategies to meet the future transportation needs of the global marketplace,” Welburn said. “One thing is clear: Success will require a variety of mobility solutions that are striking both in their execution and their efficiency.”

The new structure and executive appointments are effective Aug. 1. The following executives will report to Welburn:

Ken Parkinson, currently executive director, North American Exterior Design/Global Architecture Strategy and Chevrolet “Brand Champion,” is appointed executive director, Global Chevrolet and GMC Design.


Mark Adams, currently vice president – GM Europe Design and “Brand Champion” for Opel/Vauxhall, will relocate to Warren and is appointed executive director, Global Cadillac and Buick Design.


David Lyon, currently executive director – North American Interiors/Global Cross-Brand Design and Buick/GMC “Brand Champion,” will relocate to Russelsheim, Germany and is appointed vice president – GME Design, with an emphasis on growing the Opel/Vauxhall brand. Lyon will sit on the leadership team of Karl-Friedrich Stracke, president, GM Europe and CEO of Opel/Vauxhall.

Clay Dean, currently director – North American Advanced Design and Cadillac “Brand Champion,” is appointed to the new position of director – Global Advanced Design. Dean will serve as the lead integrator and coordinator of all Advanced Design activity around the world.

Bryan Nesbitt, vice president – GMIO Design and “Brand Champion” for Wuling and Baojun, will continue to serve as the lead voice for Design in the GMIO region and focus on developing and growing the company’s operations in China and India.

Nesbitt will continue to sit on GMIO President Tim Lee’s leadership team.

Mike Simcoe, executive director – GMIO Design and “Brand Champion” for Holden, will continue to focus on developing and growing the company’s operations in Korea and Australia.

Carlos Barba, executive director – GM South America Design, will continue in his leadership role of GM Design in Brazil.

Teckla Rhoads, director – Global Industrial Design, will continue to lead the global responsibility of Industrial Design.

Mark Leavy, executive director – Global Design Operations, will continue in his current leadership role.

The first and largest global automotive OEM design function, General Motors Design has a network of 10 Design Centers in seven countries around the world. Over 1,900 men and women are responsible for the design development of every GM concept and production car and truck globally. The Design Centers are located in the United States, Germany, Korea, China, Australia, Brazil and India. GM Design is led by Ed Welburn, Vice President, Global Design. Welburn is the sixth Design leader in GM history and the first to lead all of the company’s Global Design Centers. GM Design was established in 1927 as ‘The Art and Colour Section’ by the legendary Harley Earl, and is celebrating its 85th anniversary in 2012.
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