According to Autoblog, Chris Bangle, the controversial former head of BMW design, has joined forces with Samsung to oversee the design of notebooks and phones. The talented American designer left BMW back in 2009 after 17 years, and after two years of non-compete agreement and focusing on teaching, he returns to industrial design.
After leaving BMW, Bangle has also setup his own firm, Chris Bangle and Associates, and has been working on designing yachts and electronics.
The South Korea-based Samsung says Bangle is operating as an outside influence on the design of their phones and laptops and will still work on his own projects outside of the company.
“This is an investment to secure a famous global designer in order to make our designs more luxurious,” said a senior Samsung official. “We will set up a design research center for Bangle in a European location, such as Italy, and have about 10 researchers from Samsung work with him.”
Hyundai Motor was also known to be aggressively trying to recruit Bangle as its new head of design. But Bangle declined the offer. There was speculation that Hyundai was not able to match a reported $8.9 million salary required to snag Bangle.
Although details have not been officially announced, it is said that Bangle will receive several million dollars from Samsung Electronics and will hold the rank of one of the company’s presidents.