Daimler has promoted its current head of design, Gorden Wagener, to the newly created role of chief design officer. Wagener is the man behind Mercedes-Benz’s Sensual Purity design language, and succeeded Peter Pfeiffer when the latter retired in 2008.

Wagener’s work can be seen in nearly every model offered by the German automaker from the A-Class right up to the flagship Mercedes-AMG GT. He was also responsible for previous Mercedes models such as the CLS, SL, SLK, SLR McLaren and SLS AMG.

Since mid-2008, Wagener has been at the helm of Daimler’s design unit, which operates Advanced Design Studios in California, Italy and China, plus five other locations. He has been credited with broadening the Three-Pointed Star’s appeal to younger buyers (i.e. Mercedes’ compact cars range). His newly-appointed position shows Daimler’s emphasis on the importance of design to the brand.

Wagener was born on September 3, 1968 in Essen, Germany. After securing his Industrial Design degree at the University of Essen, he went on to specialise in transportation design at The Royal College of Art in London. Before joining Mercedes-Benz in 1997, he worked as an exterior designer for various brands, including Volkswagen.

“Good design is much more than simply creating beautiful products: it combines function with fascination and gives brand values an unmistakable form. We are delighted that, under the leadership of Gorden Wagener, our design team is among the best in the industry. Because the global sales success of our vehicles is, after all, in part due to their outstanding design,” said Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz.

Moving forward, Wagener and his team will support Mercedes-Benz’s CASE development philosophy – connectivity (connected), autonomous driving (autonomous), flexible use (shared and services) and electric drive systems (electric).