Following yesterday's news that longtime Mercedes design chief Professor Peter Pfeiffer – known as "the three Ps of automotive design" (but that's only to us here at Autoblog) – was stepping down, Mercedes-Benz has today confirmed the appointment of Gorden Wagener as his replacement. The appropriately-named designer (who bears no known relation to GM chief Rick Wagoner) will take Pfeiffer's place when he steps down after four years with the company in the middle of this year.

On the surface of things, it would seem that changing design directors for the first time in 30 years could mean a drastic shake-up in the styling of new Mercedes models, however Wagener's experience with the company suggests otherwise. He's been with Mercedes for over ten years now, working his way up from head of exterior and interior styling to director of advanced design, heading both the Mercedes design studios in California and Japan, and most recently as head of Strategic Advanced Design. In 2002 alone, Wagener oversaw the designs of the A, B, C, E, CLK and CLS-Classes, comprising the bulk of the Mercedes passenger car range. But if you want an idea of the direction in which Wagener might like to take the company's design, look no further than the F 700 concept, which Wagener and his team unveiled last fall. We'll be watching you, Gorden.

[Source: Mercedes-Benz]

PRESS RELEASE:


Gorden Wagener to become New Head of Design at Mercedes-Benz

Stuttgart, Mar 26, 2008

From mid-2008 onwards, Gorden Wagener is to head the globally active design division of Mercedes-Benz. The diploma'ed designer, aged 39, is to succeed Professor Peter Pfeiffer, who will be retiring after forty years of service with the company. Currently, Gorden Wagener heads the Strategic Advanced Design department and as such acts as director of the Mercedes design studios in California and Japan.

"Gorden Wagener will continue the successful work of Professor Peter Pfeiffer. He was involved to a considerable degree in developing the design of the passenger car models currently on the market, and will lead the Mercedes design into the future with his new and creative ideas", said Dr. Thomas Weber, member of the Daimler Board of Management.


Gorden Wagener has worked for Mercedes-Benz since 1997. As head of the Advanced Design department, Wagener is among the pioneers within the Stuttgartautomotive brand who develop future vehicle concepts and work towards the realisation of new design strategies. Wagener and his team showcased their ideas for the premium automobile of the future with their much-noted research vehicle F 700, which was presented by Mercedes-Benz in the fall of 2007.

The incumbent Mercedes Head of Design studied Industrial Design at the University of Essen in Germany and later focussed on Transportation Design at the Royal College of Art in London. He began his career as Exterior Designer in 1995, and joined Mercedes-Benz in Sindelfingen two years later. In 1999, he became head of the Exterior / Interior Styling department, designing the models of the GL-, M- and R-Class with his team. In 2002, Wagener was responsible for the design of the models making up the A-, B-, C-, E-, CLK- and CLS-Class. Since 2006, the diploma'ed designer has been directing the Advanced Design department and acted as director of the Mercedes design studios in California and Japan. He was appointed as head of Strategic Advanced Design in 2007. Gorden Wagener was born on September 3rd, 1968 in Essen.

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