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GM design chief Ed Welburn to retire

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Staff writer | Detroit, Mi., USA | April 8, 2016
Ed WelburnApril 7, 2016, Detroit, Mi., USA - Ed Welburn, vice president of General Motors Global Design, told employees he will retire effective July 1, following a 44-year career with the company.
Mr. Welburn has been celebrated inside and outside the industry for his extraordinary achievements. He has led GM Design since 2003, and globally since 2005, the first African American from any automaker to do so.

Under Mr. Welburn’s leadership, GM built a network of 10 GM design centers in seven countries. His team of more than 2,500 creative men and women – based in the U.S., Germany, South Korea, China, Australia, Brazil and India – collaborate on the design development of every GM concept and production car, truck and crossover globally.

Michael Simcoe, a 33-year veteran of GM Design and vice president of GM International Design, based in Australia and Korea, has been selected to succeed Mr. Welburn.

Mr. Simcoe will be the company’s seventh design leader and begins transitioning into his new role on May 1. His replacement has not been named.

Mr. Simcoe has been in his current role since 2014, overseeing GM’s production and advanced studios in Korea, Australia and India. He joined GM in 1983 as a designer at Holden in Australia, and is Holden’s brand champion.

In 1995, he became director of Design for GM Asia Pacific and in 2003, was named executive director of Asia Pacific Design and led the development of the new GM Korea design operations under Welburn’s leadership.

The following year, he became executive director of North American Exterior Design, responsible for critical and commercial successes like the GMC Terrain, Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet Camaro and Equinox and Cadillac CTS.

More recently, Mr. Simcoe led the team responsible for the award-winning Buick Avenir Concept. Last month, he introduced the Chevrolet Colorado Xtreme and Trailblazer Premier show cars at the Bangkok International Motor Show.


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