Karim Habib, head of the BMW Design Team since 2012 is rumored to have left the company.
While there has been no official statement yet from BMW, German website Auto, Motor Und Sport reports that the Lebanese-born Canadian, most notably known for his works on the (F01) BMW 7 Series is the third top BMW design official to leave the company in the past 10 months.
This comes after Anders Warming, Chief Designer of the MINI brand, left for German-Chinese automaker Bogward and Benoit Jacobs, ex-Chief Designer of BMW’s ‘i’ division left for Chinese start-up Future Mobility. It is not yet known, to where or who Habib goes.
Karim Habib first joined the BMW design team in 1998, a graduate of the McGill University in Montreal, initially majoring in Mechanical Engineering.
He later did a postgraduate study at the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Switzerland, spending some time at its USA branch where he was supervised by a tutor from the BMW Group.
After finishing his studies, he started working for BMW’s Interior Design team, followed by spells in the Exterior Design and Advanced Design departments. He briefly served Mercedes-Benz in 2009 and 2010 before returning to BMW in 2011.
In recent times, besides the bread-and-butter models, Habib also penned the retrospective BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage, a car that “highlighted the potential importance of a brand’s past in future design”.
As head of Design for BMW, he aimed to implement systems that foster creative freedom and placed great value on the integration of all parties in the design process.
Habib’s move could mean that BMW’s head designer Adrian Van Hooydonk has the unenviable task of heading all three design departments.