General Motors design chief Ed Welburn says he's looking for the next Chuck Jordan or Wayne Cherry to run the company's Opel design studio in Europe -- a job that historically has been a path to bigger things.
Both Jordan and Cherry were Opel's styling chief on their way to GM's top design job. Now Welburn says he's looking inside and outside the company to fill the post left vacant in July when Dave Lyon, the former head of interior design in North America, was promoted to the job -- only to be dismissed days later for reasons that were not disclosed.
During a visit to GM's design studio in Ruesselsheim, Germany, last month, Welburn impressed upon staffers the importance of finding the right person. He also lauded Mark Adams, who was Opel's top designer since 2007 before being tapped in July to lead Buick and Cadillac design.
"For some of them who've been there many years, they got choked up when I started to talk about the people who have led that design center," Welburn told Automotive News.
Jordan, best known for his styling on Cadillacs spanning more than 30 years, spent the late '60s as Opel's design director. Cherry, who led GM design from 1992 to 2004, oversaw the merger of Opel and Vauxhall's design operations in the mid-1980s.