In March this year, Harley-Davidson President and CEO Matt Levatich, who had been a part of the American motorcycle manufacturer for the last 26 years, exited the company. At that time, the board of directors appointed board member Jochen Zeitz as acting president and CEO. But now, Zeitz’s provisional role has been converted into a permanent responsibility as Harley-Davidson has appointed him as the new President and CEO of the Milwaukee based company.
Zeitz has served as the chairman and CEO of the sports apparel and goods brand Puma from 1993 to 2011, and CFO from 1993 to 2005. He has also been on the board of directors of the Harley-Davidson since 2007. Now, with his new position in the company, he plans to carry out a comprehensive overhaul of the brand and rewire the entire business. Zeitz also aims to layout a new 5-year strategic plan later this year.
In a press statement, Zeitz said, “Over the next few months, we will re-wire the business and redefine a new 5-year strategic plan later this year. I will then oversee the implementation of these changes and re-ignite Harley-Davidson as one of the most revered and iconic brands in the world.”
Harley-Davidson has been trying various new tactics to get its sales figures to climb. Unfortunately, nothing seems to be working in favour of the company. Its bike sales in the US in 2019 were the lowest in at least 16 years. Now, with Zeitz in the driver’s seat, it would be interesting to see how the company performs in the coming years. Harley-Davidson has various new ‘un-Harley’ models in the pipeline such as a flat tracker, cafe racer, streetfighter, Pan-America ADV, a low-displacement 338cc bike. We hope to see some fastpaced progress on these models under Zeitz’s guidance.