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Jagdish Krishnan Becomes Harley’s First Chief Digital Officer

2020 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy 114

New Position, New Way Forward?

Harley-Davidson needs to make big moves in the future if it wants to keep its place as a dominant force in the motorcycling industry, and to that end, it is making a lot of changes. The Motor Company has a new CEO who has implemented a new strategy to right the ship and announced another strategy to do all the right things (in his eyes) once the ship is righted. As a part of that, Harley created a new position called Chief Digital Officer and filled it with an experienced executive.

The CDO’s name is Jagdish Krishnan. He’s a former Bose Corp. executive who has 20 years of digital leadership at Bose, Deloitte & Touche, and Patni Computer Systems. Krishnan knows the digital space well, and hopefully, he can help Harley expand its digital presence and capture some new customers.

The goal here is to create new relationships and further develop the relationship HD already has with customers. This will be done through digitizing portions of the business that aren’t already (dealerships) and streamlining and improving the interface and experience between customers and the company. The goal, at least the way I understand it, is to make it as easy as possible for customers to have an interaction with Harley.

Harley-Davidson is all about experiences, and an enhanced digital experience is absolutely critical for us to make our GIS and digital capabilities more customer-centric,” said Harley-Davidson President and CEO Jochen Zeitz. “We will take a completely different approach to applying digital technology across the company to fundamentally change how we operate and create value.”

It will be interesting to see what comes from this appointment of Krishnan. Hopefully, he can do what other Harley executives have failed to do.