- In early 2020, with the company under stress from Wall Street and with a demographic challenge looming as it struggled to attract new riders, Harley-Davidson CEO Matt Levatich stepped down, replaced on an acting basis by board member Jochen Zeitz, who eventually was named CEO.
- Zeitz swiftly moved to replace Harley’s growth strategy with a retrenchment around core products.
- Harley has been here before, and Zeitz’s strategy — “Rewire,” as he calls it — could work, but it isn’t without risk.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Former Harley-Davidson CEO Matt Levatich had an impossible job — and now no longer does, replaced earlier this year by Jochen Zeitz, onetime CEO of Puma and longtime Harley board member.
He wasted no time first as interim CEO, when on a first-quarter earnings conference call with analysts, he abruptly reversed course on Levatich’s “More Roads” transformation plan.
“We’ve continued to move forward with the highest potential elements of More Roads, but our strategy must be reassessed,” Zeitz said.
“As a result of my observations and assessment, I’ve concluded that we need to take significant actions and rewire the company now in terms of priorities, execution, operating model and strategy to drive sustained profit and long term growth. We’re calling it The Rewire and it is our playbook for the next few months, leading to a new five-year strategic plan which we’ll share when visibility to the future returns.”
Soon after, the Harley board made Zeitz’s appointment permanent.
Here’s what Harley’s new direction means for the American icon:
Harley-Davidson has been building motorcycles in the USA for 117 years. In many ways, it’s the definitive American company, with a product that combines both its own values and America’s.
Former CEO Matt Levatich hoped to ensure that heritage for another 100 years, so he undertook a transformational plan that would increase ridership, expand to new markets, and attack new opportunities.
There’s more at Business insider at YahooNews. So much for doom and gloom. Harley will be back as the country comes back stronger than ever before. Hell, drive-in movies are back, cruise nights and girls on roller-skates delivering food. This is too cool.–Bandit