News: Harley-Davidson CEO Levatich has stepped down


Harley-Davidson CEO Levatich has stepped down

Company veteran Levatich was unable to turn around a decade-long slump in the motorcycle maker’s performance or revive its brand.
Harley-Davidson CEO Levatich has stepped down

Harley-Davidson CEO and president Matthew Levatich stepped down with immediate effect last Friday, ending a five-year tenure during which the company’s performance continued to slide. In 2019, the motorcycle maker’s global sales had hit a 10-year low, pulled down by an aging target market and changing demographics and lifestyles.

Levatich, who has been with the company since 1994 and served in various positions across the US and Europe, was appointed CEO in May 2015 with the expectation that he would be able to turn around the brand’s falling appeal. He set the target of attracting 2 million new riders over the next decade, and introduced initiatives such as the “More Roads to Harley-Davidson” strategy to make the brand more appealing to a wider audience.

However, the company was unable to compete in overseas markets, where other manufacturers were already well established with lighter and cheaper offerings that catered better to their own buyers. Domestically, Harley-Davidson’s target market has been aging out of the lifestyle associated with the brand and even the physical ability to ride its motorcycles, and younger generations have not been attracted to the brand.

Levatich is replaced by Harley-Davidson board member Jochen Zeitz, who will serve as interim CEO until the company is able to find a permanent replacement.

In its press release late on Friday, the company said it would be looking to new leadership to recharge its business.



Image source: RevZilla

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Topics: C-Suite

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