Luc Donckerwolke is officially out.
Back in 2015, Hyundai Motor Group hired famed automotive designer Luc Donckerwolke to be its new Genesis brand design chief and in 2018 was promoted to lead the entire company's design portfolio, which included the Hyundai and Kia brands.
According to South Korean news outlet Yonhap News Agency, Donckerwolke has officially resigned his position. No doubt this comes as a huge surprise. Donckerwolke said he was resigning for "personal reasons" and will take effect immediately. It's unclear where he will go next. A company spokesperson added that the Belgium native wanted to spend more time with his family. Prior to Hyundai, Donckerwolke had stints as design chief for Bentley, which is part of the Volkswagen Group.
"It's been an honor and privilege to contribute to the shaping of the future of Hyundai, Kia and Genesis," Donckerwolke said in the statement. "Their audacious and progressive attitude has allowed me to push the boundaries and challenge the status quo."
For now, Hyundai has not named a direct successor but instead has appointed SangYup Lee as head of Hyundai and Genesis design while Karim Habib, who formerly worked at BMW and Infiniti, will continue in his has role as Kia design boss.
Donckerwolke wasn't Hyundai Motor Group's first big hire. In previous years, it managed to poach talent from other German automakers such as Albert Biermann, who worked as BMW M's engineering chief dating back to the E30 M3.
Prior to that, Peter Schreyer was hired away from Volkswagen Group and it was he who very successfully turned the Kia brand into a design powerhouse. Not surprisingly, he was later promoted to lead all of Hyundai Motor Group design, a position he later passed down to Donckerwolke.