Ed Welburn Retires, Welcomes New GM VP of Design Michael Simcoe
Ed Welburn, General Motors Co. design chief, and easily one of the most prominent car designers of our era, is retiring after 44 years with the company. He recently announced that he will retire July 1st, with Michael Simcoe, a 33-year old veteran who currently leads GM’S International Design Center, will take over and begin the transition soon.
A GM lifer, Welburn started at the company in 1972 after graduating from Howard University; and elevated through the ranks to head up GM Design globally in 2005. His departure is a significant one because he was solely responsible for the overhaul of brands like Buick and Cadillac, and bringing back sporty cars like the Camaro, leading a styling Renaissance as the company emerged from its 2009 bankruptcy.
In his early days, he designed some of the most iconic performance cars such as the Camaro, Cadillac Ciel, Corvette, the Buick Avista and many others. He also streamlined the 1987 Oldsmobile Aerotech concept with the world-speed record.
Although Ed Welburn officially retires on July 1st, GM says that he will be working with the architect of its new Design Center facility on the campus of the GM Technical Center in Warren, Michigan. He will also be working with the Smithsonian on an Edward T. Wellburn Collection of pieces documenting his career that will debut at the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture building at the end of this year.
Ed Welburn’s successor, Simcoe, started in GM’S Australian Holden Unit and has worked on the Camaro, CTS, and more recently, the Buick Avenir concept that won the best concept car at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show.