Jozef Kaban leaves Rolls-Royce after only six months!?
It's not unusual for top automotive design and engineering talent to move from one automaker to another. The competition can clearly see what these men and women are capable of and are often anxious to bring them on board. For example, Dr. Albert Biermann was poached by Hyundai away from BMW M after working there for decades. Last March, we reported that Jozef Kaban, a huge design talent who started his career at Volkswagen when he was just 20 years old, was hired by Rolls-Royce to be its new design chief following the departure of Giles Taylor. Taylor was responsible for the brand's existing lineup, including the Cullinan, Phantom, and the Vision Next 100 Concept.
And now, just over six months later, Kaban is suddenly leaving both Rolls-Royce and its parent company, BMW Group. Even more unusual is that Kaban is the second design chief to leave Rolls-Royce in only 16 months. Is there something not right at Rolls-Royce these days?
Impossible to know, but Kaban certainly had the talent to lead a major ultra-luxury brand into its next design phase. Prior to being poached by BMW to lead its design division, Kaban was assigned a very special design task at Volkswagen Group: the Bugatti Veyron. Like its exterior styling or not, it's Kaban's work and the Veyron has since become a legend. It's no wonder BMW lured him away from VW. Conveniently enough, Rolls-Royce is owned by BMW.
"Although Jozef has been with Rolls-Royce for a very short period, we thank him for his input during his tenure," said Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös in a statement. "We wish him the best for the future." The company only stated Kaban left to "pursue other interests."
Rolls-Royce is currently searching for a replacement and an announcement will be made once that individual has been found and hired. But where is Kaban heading? His resume, which also includes stints as Audi's head of exterior design, is quite prestigious. Not many 46-year-old automotive designers have resumes like this. Where will he end up next? Meaning, who hired him away? We'll probably find out soon.
Unfortunately, we never had a chance to see what Kaban's Rolls-Royce models may have looked like. Being on the job for only half a year isn't always enough time to even reveal a concept vehicle.