To date, he holds the highest-ranking position as an African American in the automotive industry. He has overseen the development of recent GM products, such as the 2010 Buick LaCrosse, 2010 Chevrolet Camaro, Chevrolet Malibu, Cadillac CTS, and Buick Enclave.
A native of Philadelphia, Welburn was born on December 14, 1950. He received a bachelor's degree in 1972 from the College of Fine Arts at Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he studied sculpture and product design. He joined GM at the age of 21, and since 2003 has held the same position at General Motors that Harley Earl and Bill Mitchell once held. He has a cameo role in the film Transformers: Age of Extinction.
Welburn was the lead GM designer on the Chaparral 2X Vision GT, a concept car designed for the videogame Gran Turismo 6. The car features 4-wheel steer and active aerodynamics, claimed to be similar to a wing suit, and was made available in December 2014.