David Woodhouse, Ford Motor Co.’s director of global strategic design who was instrumental in crafting the Lincoln luxury brand's latest styling, has resigned from the company. It's unclear why he left. In a Facebook post on Friday, Woodhouse, 50, said it was a "difficult decision," especially considering his personal investment in Lincoln.
"Ending a long-standing relationship with a corporation is just like ending a personal relationship multiplied by the number of wonderful friends and colleagues," he wrote. A Lincoln spokeswoman said Woodhouse "elected to leave the company" but gave no other details.
Woodhouse worked at Ford in a number of roles since joining the Premier Automotive Group, the company's onetime stable of luxury brands that included Lincoln, Volvo, Jaguar and Land Rover, in 1999, according to his LinkedIn profile.
He added the title of director of global strategic design, in addition to duties as director of Lincoln design, in July 2017, shortly after Jim Hackett took over as Ford CEO. As part of the overhaul of Ford's design team at the time, Joel Piaskowski, Ford of Europe's design director, was named global director of Ford design, overseeing cars and crossovers.
Woodhouse, Lincoln's design director since 2013, helped turn around the once-moribund brand with new styling centered around a philosophy the company labels "quiet flight." Woodhouse previously was chief designer in Ford's strategic design studios in London and California and was part of the team behind the Lincoln C Concept presented at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The Ford Shelby GR1, Ford Airstream, Ford Reflex, Lincoln Continental Concept, Lincoln Mk9 Coupe and Lincoln Aviator Concept are among the key vehicles Woodhouse had a hand in styling. According to his LinkedIn profile, he was an assistant chief designer with Cadillac in Europe for less than a year starting in late 1998, where he helped craft the Cadillac Imaj concept. Woodhouse began his automotive career with BMW.
Michael covers Ford and Tesla for Automotive News