Frank Weber with the Chevrolet Volt

BMW has hired away former Opel exec Frank Weber, according to Automotive News Europe. In his new position, Weber will report to Klaus Draeger, BMW's head of research and development. The hiring of Weber shows that automakers value expertise in the alternative-technology vehicle segment, since BMW rarely snags execs from its competition, preferring to promote from within. Adding Weber to its roster of employees is a move that should provide BMW with a boost in electrified vehicle expertise as its eyes the launch of both the battery-powered i3 and the plug-in hybrid i8 in 2013.

Long-time AutoblogGreen readers have come to know Weber as the leader of the team that transformed the Chevrolet Volt from a wild-eyed concept to a production vehicle. Weber was the global chief engineer for electric vehicles at General Motors during his time in the U.S. In late 2009, GM announced that Weber would return to Germany to take over as the head of corporate product planning for Opel and Vauxhall. Opel has yet to name a successor for Weber.

[Source: Automotive News Europe – sub. req.]