BMW confirmed last week that it had hired away Frank Weber, Opel's highly touted head of product planning and the lead engineer for the Chevrolet Volt.
Weber, 44, will become head of vehicle architecture and integration. The German native, who joined Opel in 1991, spent two years at General Motors in the United States working on the Volt before shifting to Opel 18 months ago. So the move gives BMW a huge boost in electric vehicle expertise. BMW plans to launch its i3 full-electric car and its i8 plug-in hybrid in 2013.
Among Weber's responsibilities will be BMW's EfficientDynamics fuel-saving program, full-vehicle concepts and architectures, and driver safety and driver assistance systems.
The BMW spokesman said Weber's starting date hasn't been decided because negotiations are taking place with Opel.
Weber will report to Klaus Draeger, BMW's head of research and development.
Opel has not named a successor for Weber.
Weber is the second top Opel executive in less than a year to leave the GM subsidiary for a German rival. In October, former Managing Director Hans Demant moved to Volkswagen AG as senior vice president in charge of international relations.