Some rather sad news was published on GM’s PR wire to announce that the corporation’s head of design, Ed Welburn, will be retiring on July 1, bringing an end to his long, 44-year career with the automaker.
Taking his place will be Michael Simcoe, who was formerly GM’s international design vice president for Australia and Korea, who also has been vetted for 33 years.
Mr. Welburn, 65, celebrated a long and prosperous career with General Motors and was in charge of the company’s design team since 2003. By 2005, he oversaw the global design language of GM and was the first African-American to hold such a position at any automaker.
“GM Design is among the most respected and sought-after organizations in the industry because of Ed’s leadership. He nurtured a creative, inclusive and customer-focused culture among our designers that has strengthened our global brands,” said Mary Barra, GM chairman and CEO, in the company’ statement.
Michael Simcoe, who will be succeeding Welburn, joined GM in 1983 as a designer for Holden in Australia. He later went on to become the director of design for GM Asia Pacific in 1995. By 2003, he was the executive director of the design branch. He was the head of GM Korea’s design under Welburn, and moved on to become GM’s North American Exterior Design director. There, his roster includes the GMC Terrain, Buick LaCrosse, the Chevrolet Camaro and Equinox, and the Cadillac CTS. Along with Mr. Welburn, Simcoe designed the stunning Buick Avenir Concept.
– By: Chris Chin