General Motors LogoGeneral Motors has given its global design team a good shake in an attempt to create "a more brand-focused design organization." Effective August 1, Ken Parkinson, who currently serves as executive director of North American exterior design, will become the executive director of global Chevrolet and GMC design. Current vice president of GM Europe design, Mark Adams, will move to Warren, Michigan to take over duties as the executive director of Global Cadillac and Buick design.

Meanwhile, David Lyon will move to Rüsselsheim, Germany to serve as the vice president of GM Europe Design. Lyon currently works as the executive director of North American interiors and global cross-brand design. Clay Dean is set to become the director of Global Advanced Design.

GM says the changes should allow the company to push more common design language over each brand's lineup while also increasing parts sharing where possible. Check out the full press release below for more information.
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GM Design Announces Changes to its Global Organization and Leadership Team
Moves strengthen brand focus and Advanced Design capabilities


WARREN, Mich. – GM Global Design today 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."

The benefits of a more brand-focused design organization include:

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 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.