Automotive News (subscription required) has confirmed that BMW chief designer Karim Habib is quitting the company. It is not known where Habib will end up.
Habib, 46, has been the chief designer for the BMW brand since 2012. He started at BMW in 1998 and worked there since, with the exception of a two-year stint at Mercedes-Benz from 2008-2010.
The departure comes at a bad time for BMW. The company lost Mini design chief Anders Warming last summer to a revived Borgward last summer and lost BMW i head designer Benoit Jacob to Chinese EV startup Future Mobility Corp. around the same time. Borgward is also backed by Chinese money.
That leaves group design chief Adrian van Hooydonk with only one head designer, Rolls-Royce’s Giles Taylor.
Habib was born in Lebanon but has lived in five different countries. He studied engineering in McGill University in Montreal, then went on to the Art Center College of Design in Switzerland. He also spent time at the U.S. branch of Art Center in Pasedena, Caflifornia. It was there that he caught the eye of BMW.
After Art Center, Habib joined BMW as an interior designer, then did stints in exterior design and advanced design.