The movement of talented BMW staff to Korea shows no signs of abating... Talented BMW Designworks designer Won Kyu Kang has now assumed a key leadership role in Kia's design division.
Won Kyu Kang is the latest BMW senior employee recruited to Korea, where he has now become the head of design innovation for Kia.
BMW has seen some of its best talents resign and join Kia over the last few years. Former M-Division boss, Albert Biermann, was the first. The other significant BMW departure that strengthened Kia’s human capital, was that of Karim Habib.
It is telling that Kang has followed his former boss at BMW, Habib, to Kia. They share common design values and working aspirations, both of which are considered to now be more achievable at Kia, than BMW.
In his new role at Kia, which is based in Korea, where Kang enjoys native language proficiency, and his line of reporting will be to Habib.
Originally trained as an industrial designer, at Hongik private university in Seoul, Kang then pursued further study in American. He is a graduate in transport design, from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, and has 15 years of experience in the automotive industry.
Interestingly, Kang spent ten months working at Hyundai in 2001, between his degrees. His portfolio of work includes the original 4 Series and BMW’s 3.0 CSL Homage concept car.
Although Habib is in the more senior position at Kia, it is clear that Kang is being groomed to eventually become overall director of exterior design. This would be a tremendously proud moment for the Korean brand, to have one of its own responsible for the brand’s global product identity.