NEWS
04/07/2016 13:15 EDT | Updated 04/08/2017 01:12 EDT

Longtime GM design chief Ed Welburn to retire after 44 years

DETROIT — General Motors says its longtime head of automotive design is retiring after 44 years with the company.

Ed Welburn is the first African-American to lead global design for any automaker. He will step down July 1 after leading GM Design in North America since 2003 and globally since 2005.

The 65-year-old Welburn will be replaced by Michael Simcoe, who has been with the company for 33 years. Currently he's vice-president of international design.

Welburn set up a network of 10 design centres around the world with over 2,500 employees. He's responsible for functional designs of everyday GM products as well as performance cars such as the Chevrolet Corvette and Camaro.

The Associated Press