Harley appoints new CEO

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Harley-Davidson has appointed Matt Levatich as the new boss of the company to replace the man who is widely credited with saving the company from financial disaster in 2009.

Current CEO Keith Wandell was the architect of the complete restructure of Harley-Davidson in 2009 which many regard as saving the company but will be replaced by Levatich on May 1 – six years to the day since Wandell took over.

Levatich was the man Harley-Davidson sent to Europe run MV Agusta during the brief spell the American company owned the Italian company before the financial crisis of 2008 saw Harley sell MV in ’09 and also close subsidiary Buell Motorcycles once Wandell took over as it refocused the business on the core Harley range.

Levatich has been working alongside Wandell as Chief Operating Officer throughout the time Wandell has been at the helm. Levatich has been integral to the new products like the water-cooled Project Rushmore bikes and also the revolutionary electric Livewire bikes which remain a focus of development for the future for Harley.

It’s expected Harley-Davidson is going to undergo a transformation in terms of the modernisation of the entire range of bikes over the coming few years with the Rushmore bikes giving an idea of what Harley has in mind.

Leavatich said: “It’s a great honour to become the next CEO of this iconic company. As we look to the future, we believe there are tremendous opportunities to build on our many strengths. Harley-Davidson is one of the world’s most-powerful and revered brands, and through our strategies to provide unrivalled products and experiences for our customers, we aim to extend our reach and work to realize our full potential as a growing global company.”

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Andy Downes

By Andy Downes

Former MCN Senior Reporter