SAE 2014 Convergence

October 21-22, 2014

Detroit, Michigan, USA

COBO Center

Tuesday, October 21 2014

Keynote sponsored by IBM

Opening Keynote Address - Ralph Gilles, Chrysler Corporation

8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Designing for the Technologically-Savvy Consumer

Gilles, Ralph V. Gilles, Ralph V.
Senior Vice President - Product Design, Chrysler Group LLC

Ralph V. Gilles leads the Company's Product Design Office as Senior Vice President, a position he was named to in June 2009.

Gilles has also served as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) - Motorsports; President and CEO - SRT Brand and President and CEO - Dodge brand. He was named Vice President - Design on Sept. 1, 2008.

Since first joining the former Chrysler Corporation in 1992 as a designer, Gilles has put his extensive academic background in industrial design and business administration to use, holding various positions within the Company, including:
  • 2011, President and CEO - Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC
  • 2011, President and CEO - SRT Brand
  • 2009, President and CEO - Dodge Brand
  • 2009 - current, Senior Vice President - Product Design
  • 2008, Vice President - Design, Chrysler LLC
  • 2006, Vice President - Jeep®/Truck, Color and Trim Studios, and Specialty Vehicles, Chrysler LLC, DaimlerChrysler
  • 2005, Director - Truck Exterior/Interior Design Studio
  • 2001, Director - Design Office, Large Car Studio, Family Vehicles
  • 1999, Senior Manager - Design Office, Studio 3
  • 1998, Manager - Design Office, Jeep Interiors, Chrysler Corporation
  • 1992, Designer - Design Office
Gilles is extremely active inside and outside the Company. He serves as the executive sponsor of the Chrysler African American Network (CAAN) in addition to playing a leading role with The Chrysler Global Diversity Council. He also serves on the board of McLaren Oakland in Pontiac, Mich. At his alma mater, The College for Creative Studies (CCS) in Detroit, Gilles serves on The CCS Board of Trustees and The CCS Capital Committee.

An avid car enthusiast who enjoys spending time at the track, go-karting and watching Formula 1 auto racing, Gilles has participated in the Targa Newfoundland Rally, the Car and Driver One Lap of America and the SRT Viper Cup Series. In addition, he has frequently served as a judge at Pebble Beach, Meadow Brook and Cranbrook Concours events, along with the EyesOn Design car show.

Gilles has earned numerous academic and industry awards, including: The Michigan State University Eli Broad Graduate School of Management Young Alumni Achievement Award, The Automotive Hall of Fame Young Leadership & Excellence Award, NV Magazine Innovation Award, Black Engineer of the Year President's Award and N'Digo Foundation N'Design Award.

Gilles holds a Master of Business Administration from Michigan State University (2002) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Industrial Design from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit (1992).