Daimler has snatched away the chief of Audi's Munich design studio, Achim Badstuebner. The German carmaker has tapped Badstuebner to lead exterior design at Audi rival Mercedes-Benz, effective January 1, 2013, according to Gorden Wagener, Daimler's chief designer. Badstuebner had been with Audi for 13 years, serving as head of the carmaker’s exterior design before leading the Munich design studio.
He was regarded as one of the public faces of Audi's design department. He was also responsible for some of the most successful current designs at the carmaker, having led the design of the single-frame Nuvolari grille, which has become a signature styling element across the Audi lineup. His most recent conquest included giving shape to Audi's new entries in the crossover segment, like the compact Q3 that is set to be rolled out in the United States at the end of 2014.
Badstuebner is replacing Robert Lesnik, who will be promoted to take on broader duties. Badstuebner will report to Lesnik. Wagener remarked that hiring Badstuebner is part of a restructuring that Audi is currently working on. Wagener recently snatched Claudia Roeckle, a designer from Porsche, another VW Group company. Roeckle is now a manager in the creative color and trim department at Mercedes-Benz.