MINI has one of the most iconic designs on the planet and the man credited with bringing the classic shape into the modern era is a man by the name of Gert Volker Hildebrand. But now, after 10 successful years at MINI, Hildebrand is handing over the running of the MINI Design studio in Munich, Germany to Anders Warming.

Warming is leaving his post as the head of Exterior Design at BMW and will start his new role at MINI at the end of this year. He started working for BMW’s DesignworksUSA in California in 1997 and following this, the 38-year-old Dane was employed in various positions as a vehicle designer before coming to Munich in 2005 as Team Leader, Advanced Design, BMW Group. Under his leadership, stellar cars like the current BMW Z4, the new 5-Series and the BMW Concept 6-Series were all created.

Hildebrand, meanwhile, now 57, has been responsible for the complete design development of the MINI brand since January 2001 and, with his design team, has shaped the development of the MINI brand portfolio. Apart from designing cars, Gert Volker Hildebrand has also devoted himself to encouraging young designers and to talking about design in institutions and to the public.

Back here in the U.S. we have more news of major shakeups in the automotive design world. Lincoln has also announced that former Cadillac designer, Max Wolff, has been appointed as its design director and will start on January 3, 2011.      

Wolff has previously worked with GM’s Holden division in Australia as well as GM Daewoo in South Korea. He will be reporting to Ford’s executive director of design for the Americas, Moray Callum, and will be responsible for several crucial new models at Lincoln, including a new C-segment car based on the same platform that resides in the Ford Focus.

[MINI, Lincoln]