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Who's Where: Ken Okuyama parts company with Pininfarina

Fri, 15 Sep 2006

Pininfarina, the Turin, Italy-based automotive styling house, has announced that its design director, Ken Okuyama, has left the company.

In a tersely-worded statement Pininfarina said, "The Company's decision comes as a result of the various external activities Ken Okuyama was carrying out beyond his responsibilities within Pininfarina."

Ken Okuyama had been Design Director at Pininfarina since July 2005. During this time, Okuyama's most high-profile work was the Maserati Birdcage prototype, created to celebrate 75th anniversary of the Italian styling house.

"It's an exciting time for me," said Okuyama. "With all the industrial design activities of my own booming recently, particularly in Japan, my business came to the point that it is too visible to continue working as a Design Director at Pininfarina simultaneously. It needs my full-time attention. Pininfarina and I came to the conclusion today not to extend the contract for the benefit of both parties.

"On the automotive design consultancy (side), I have not decided how I may provide services to the future clients. I will take time and entertain some of the offers I have.

For the time being, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Pininfarina Group, Andrea Pininfarina will hold the position of Director of Design. Pininfarina's Chief Designers - Guglielmo Cartia, Fabrizio Valentini and Lowie Vermeersch - will report directly to him.