Harley-Davidson’s CEO Matt Levatich will no longer be in his position. He decided to vacate his role after a “mutually agreed” decision. Harley-Davidson’s board member Jochen Zeitz will be the acting president and CEO as well as Chairman of the Board. Harley will appoint a new CEO at some point, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Zeitz said that it was time for Harley to seek new leadership. “On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Matt for his 26 years of service to Harley-Davidson. He has worked tirelessly to navigate the Company through a period of significant industry change while ensuring the preservation of one of the most iconic brands in the world. The Harley-Davidson Board and leadership team will continue to work closely together as we search for a new CEO.”
This move comes after years of struggle for the company. Harley has lost numerous customers over the last several years and has failed to replace those customers. A younger generation of riders either doesn’t have the money for a Harley or has the money and isn’t interested in the company’s bikes. Zeitz has been instrumental in pushing the company to innovate and was one of the driving forces behind the new electric LiveWire.
It’s unclear what this will mean for Harley-Davidson. The company could continue to struggle or it a new leader could help drive the company back into strong profits. One thing is for sure, though, Levatich will not be at the helm.
I see this as a good move for Harley. It needs to change dramatically, and replacing old leadership with new is a good way to make that happen.