Karim Habib Leaves BMW; SKODA Design Boss Takes Over
BMW has today officially confirmed the departure of long-time head of design, Karim Habib. The German carmaker said he “left the company of his own accord”.
Habib, a Lebanese-born Canadian who originally joined BMW in 1998, was largely responsible for successfully rehabilitating and reviving BMW’s car designs, most noticeably the 3 Series, following the end of Chris Bangle’s controversial tenure as styling boss.
Coming somewhat like a bolt from the blue, Habib’s departure adds to a growing list of senior designers who have left the BMW Group in recent times, for example, ex-Mini chief designer Anders Warming, who left a short while ago to head the design of Chinese-owned carmaker Borgward; BMW i’s Benoit Jacob also recently moved to Future Mobility, a venture backed by China tech giant Tencent; and, last but not least, Page Beermann, who joined Chinese-American startup Faraday Future in 2015.
Habib’s replacement, meanwhile, has been announced as Jozef Kabaň, while Domagoj Dukec will now head the design team for BMW i and BMW M vehicles.
Although the 41-year old Dukec has been with BMW since 2010, 44-year old Kabaň joins the BMW Group design team after holding various positions in the Volkswagen Group, most notably as head of ŠKODA design, where he was responsible for ushering in the brand’s latest “crystalline” design language.
Both Kabaň and Dukec will report to BMW’s current chief designer, Adrian van Hooydonk.
“I am looking forward to this strengthening of the BMW Group design team,” said van Hooydonk. “Both Jozef Kabaň and Domagoj Dukec bring the experience, talent and vision we need for the future direction of our design.”