Harley-Davidson CEO Steps Down
CBJ — Harley-Davidson president and CEO Matt Levatich is stepping down after 26 years with the company in the wake of continued poor sales at the popular motorcycle company.
The board of directors has already appointed board member Jochen Zeitz as acting president and CEO, while a search for a permanent replacement is found. Zeitz also was named chairman of the board and will remain chairman once a new CEO is appointed. Current chairman, Michael Cave, is now presiding director.
Levatich leaves the Milwaukee-based motorcycle maker as its shares have fallen almost 50% since the time he took over as CEO, so it comes as no surprise that he’s gone. Stiff competition can be attributed to part of the downturn, but nonetheless such a huge decline is not acceptable to the executive board.
Adding to the drop in sales is that younger riders are not purchasing the traditional big touring bikes like in years gone by and the longtime older riders are now dropping in numbers as they age, so the market for sales is diminishing.