Harley-Davidson CEO Matt Levatich steps down following years of falling sales

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Matt Levatich has agreed to step down as President, CEO and member of the Board of Directors of Harley-Davidson. 

Levatich had been with the company for 26 years, and had been CEO for five, however after years of falling sales it was agreed that it was time for change. Levatich’s biggest achievement at the brand was launching the More Roads to Harley-Davidson campaign, with the electric LiveWire as the pinnacle.

Speaking in a statement released on Friday, 28 February, Levatich said: “I am very fortunate to have spent many years with a company as revered as Harley-Davidson. The grit and determination of the employees and dealers and their passion for bringing our brand of freedom to people around the world has always been inspiring. 

“I am proud of what we have achieved during my time as CEO,” he continued. “In one of the most challenging periods in our history, and I am confident that the progress we have made on the More Roads plan will position Harley-Davidson for long-term success.”

Riding the Harley-Davidson LiveWire at its world launch

Harley’s Board of Directors have now appointed member, Jochen Zeitz, to step in as Acting President and CEO while they search for a new permanent replacement. Zeitz has also been named Chairman of the Board and will remain in the role once a new CEO is appointed. The current Chairman, Michael Cave, is now Presiding Director.

Levatich’s comments were added to by Zeitz, who said: “The Board and Matt mutually agreed that now is the time for new leadership at Harley-Davidson. Matt was instrumental in defining the More Roads to Harley-Davidson accelerated plan for growth, and we will look to new leadership to recharge our business.

“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.”

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