Hailed by pundits as the man who breathed life into GM designs, Ed Welburn retires from General Motors after over 40 years of service. Welburn's retirement will be effective on July 1, 2016 and taking his place is Australian Mike Simcoe.
From a young age, Welburn said that he always wanted to be a car designer. At age 11,Welburn wrote a letter to GM saying he wanted to be a car designer. The company wrote back, and recommended the steps he needed to take to achieve his dream. He would later join GM in 1972 and was part of the team responsible for the fourth generation Buick Riviera. He was assigned to the Oldsmobile Exterior Studio in 1975 and became the chief designer in 1989.
In 1998, Welburn was promoted to GM’s Advanced Design organizationand appointed executive director of design, body-on-frame architectures, in 2002. In 2005, he became General Motors' Vice President of Global Design. Welburn holds the distinction of being the highest-ranked African-American in the motoring industry.
During his tenure as VP for Global Design, Welburn was responsible for the Trax Concept in 2007, the second generation Cadillac CTS, the rebirth of the Camaro, the Malibu and C7 Corvette.