General Motors has appointed Mark Adams to be the new global design director for Cadillac and Buick. He will be holding office at GM's design operations located in suburban Detroit.
Prior to his appointment, Adams was design chief for GM’s European unit Opel. He jumped ship from Ford of Europe to Opel in 2002, and was responsible for the development of a new styling for the brand, which started with the Insignia midsized car.
Replacing Adams as Opel’s design chief is David Lyon, who has been in charge of designs for Buick and GMC and GM's North American interiors. GM is also shuffling responsibilities for two other top design executives.
The company likewise named Ken Parkinson, who was head of exteriors for North America, as executive director for global Chevrolet and GMC designs. GM also named Clay Dean, who was responsible for Cadillac and advanced designs for North America, as director of global advanced design.
GM’s five other design executives will remain at their posts. Bryan Nesbitt will still serve as vice president of General Motors International Operations design while Mike Simcoe will still be an executive director of GM International Operations Design. On the other hand, Carlos Barba will remain as executive director of GM South America design while Teckla Rhoads will be still director of Global Design Operations. Lastly, Mark Leavy will still serve as executive director of Global Design Operations.
All nine design executives report directly to GM design chief Ed Welburn, who said that the new structure will allow GM to build and grow the design language for each of its brands. He added that by strengthening GM’s Advanced Design organization, company would be able to develop innovative new technologies and strategies to cater to future transportation demands of the global marketplace.
According to GM, the new structure increases the role of its advanced-design studios located in the United States, Germany, South Korea, China and Australia. All appointments are effective August 1, 2012.
Born on December 11, 1961, in London, England, Mark Adams studied both engineering and design from the Royal College of Art. He also has masters in automotive design from Royal College of Art. He started his automotive design career Ford but joined Opel in 2002 as its newly created Director of Exterior Design role. In this post, Adams took responsibility for the exterior design of all Opel vehicles.
Adams was named as Vice President GM Europe Design in June 2007. He was responsible for creating the consolidated GM Europe Design Center in Russelsheim, Germany.