Saab Automobile AB is searching for a designer to replace the man who penned its current range.
Einar Hareide designed Saab cars from 1985 to 1989, becoming chief designer in 1990. He resigned Oct. 1. In between his Saab jobs, Hareide also worked for Mercedes-Benz.
Hareide, 40, has become a partner in a new firm bearing his name, Hareide Design Mill, in his native Norway. His departure came as no surprise to Saab executives, who said they knew he wanted to move back home from Sweden to launch his own business.
Most recently, Hareide was in charge of designing the medium-luxury Saab 9-5 sedan. He gave the range-topping car a more traditional appearance than its predecessor, the 9000, to appeal to executive tastes.
The design of the wagon version of the 9-5 has been widely praised. The car recently won the Excellent Swedish Design Prize that is awarded annually by the Swedish Society of Crafts and Design.
In a further move at Saab, Olle Axleson, vice president of communications, is to take on extra responsibilities. Axelson, 42, has been named executive director of communications at GM Europe in Zurich, Switzerland. GM owns 50 percent of Saab.
In the new post, Axelson becomes No. 2 in the communications department. He assumes some of the duties of Marc Beckers, GM Europe's vice president of public affairs. Those new duties include strategic planning and media relations.
Axelson, who also has been vice president of corporate communications for Volvo Cars of North America, will keep his Saab post. He will split his time among Zurich, Detroit and Trollhattan, Sweden, where Saab is based.