Hyundai's designs have come a long way over the past few years, and much of the credit is due to the company's chief designer, Joel Piaskowski (above, front). But while the Korean automaker was reportedly shocked when its accomplished stylist resigned last month, the automotive community wondered what was in store next for the young talent. Car Design News now appears to have answered that question, indicating that Piaskowski is headed to California to lead Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design.

After serving for several years as a designer for General Motors, Piaskowski took on the role of chief designer for Hyundai/Kia North America, where he was responsible for such designs as the Genesis (both coupe and sedan), Santa Fe and Veracruz crossovers and Elantra compact sedan, as well as the HCD8, HCD9 Talus and HCD10 Hellion concepts. If the report is true, Piaskowski's new job with Mercedes will have him slip into the position vacated by Gorden Wagener when he was promoted to replace Professor Peter Pfeiffer as head of design, heading up Mercedes' new studio in Southern California.

[Source: Car Design News, Photo by Jonathan Fickles/Getty]