GM has just announced a number of changes to its organizational structure and executive appointments of Global Design operations in order to create increased focus on brand-centric design.
“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 of 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.”
In effect, the benefits of a brand-focused design structure are fourfold:
- Drive stronger – and common – messaging across a brand’s portfolio
- Allow designers to better understand – and design for – customers when they live the brand on a day-to-day basis
- Provide for greater parts sharing across brands
- Foster more creativity and provide a clear, single purpose for each design team member
The following executive appointments will report to Welburn and are effective August 1:
- 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 (pictured, left), 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 (pictured, right), 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.