New Harley-Davidson CEO & Pres - MVAgusta.net
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-07-2009, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
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New Harley-Davidson CEO & Pres

This is good news...Wandell has vision and is progressive. JC had a pretty good history in motorsports on his watch, so that isn't a bad thing.

Levatich, has been living in Italy the past six months running MV, so I'd say he has a pretty good handle on the ins and outs.
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Harley-Davidson Inc., grappling with a downturn in sales as consumers cut discretionary spending, picked an outsider to replace its chief executive.

The Milwaukee-based motorcycle maker said that Keith Wandell will take over the top job at the company on May 1. Mr. Wandell currently is president and chief operating officer of Johnson Controls Inc. He will succeed president and CEO James Ziemer, who is retiring after 40 years with Harley-Davidson.

Mr. Wandell, 59 years old, will take control of Harley at a time when the company has seen its sales battered as consumers have cut back on major purchases of goods such as boats and recreational vehicles. It has been working to increase sales to women and younger riders to diversify its customer base even as it cuts jobs and its dividend. At the same time, the company has been seeking new sales outside of the U.S.

Amid turmoil in the credit markets, the company's financing arm, which finances about half of all new "Hogs," also has had to seek alternative sources of financing. In early February, the company's largest shareholder and Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. each bought $300 million of senior unsecured notes Harley issued. Mr. Wandell said his first objective will be crafting a long-term vision for the company. "If you're only working on today and tomorrow, then things are going to stall out," he said.

Harley also said it was shuffling some of its management. It said it was promoting Matthew Levatich to president and chief operating officer. Mr. Levatich, 44, currently is the president of MV Agusta, an Italian motorcycle company that Harley bought in August. James McCaslin will fill a new position as executive vice president for corporate product planning, which will oversee motorcycle product planning and development processes across Harley, the company said.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-07-2009, 11:39 AM
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I wish I bought some at $8 a month ago.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-07-2009, 11:42 AM
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Lets hope it is! Glad to see they kept Levatich and are moving him up! THanks for posting

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-07-2009, 11:58 AM
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Does Mr Wandell have any Motor Cycle credibility, Does he Ride a Bike? I for one believe it takes passion for the product to be an effective leader. Lets hope Mr Wendell brings fresh ideas and passion to the job. I saw in another post that Johnson Control had an interest in Motorsports, lets hope this shows up in Mr Wardells leadership as he attempts to grow HD/MV market share.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-07-2009, 01:11 PM
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Sounds like good news for HD


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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-07-2009, 06:08 PM
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I wish I bought some at $8 a month ago.
I bought at approx $10, just like I did back in the 80's. Wish me luck.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-07-2009, 06:48 PM
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Smart buy.

Good luck. Looks like you are up 60%.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-07-2009, 08:16 PM
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I wish I bought some at $8 a month ago.
But noooooo. You had to buy GE.......

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-07-2009, 08:54 PM
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I know. what a dope.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-07-2009, 09:57 PM
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From Yahoo MV agusta Group...Enrico D'Onofrio, formerly CFO at Ducati and a bona fide pasta-loving Italian, will become Managing Director of MV Agusta as part of a management shake up prompted by the retirement of current President and CEO Jim Ziemer. You'll remember that, just last week, Ziemer told The New York Times to "file [Harley's] obituary where the sun don't shine" after the paper exposed a house of cards-like financial situation at The Motor Company. We're guessing this new management has been chosen with an eye to pulling Harley out of that crisis.

We couldn't care less about the new Harley leadership -- sure to be mind-numbingly boring corporate reshuffling of the kind that involves stock options and keys to executive bathrooms rather than anything remotely motorcycle related -- but we do care about the new leadership at MV Agusta. Levatich's initial management, of which we've admittedly heard very little, raised initial concerns due to his being a corporate stooge from Harley, rather than a long-lunch-taking, all-of-August- as-holiday Italian. It's reassuring to see the storied but troubled manufacturer back under domestic management, even if its backers are in a newly precipitous financial position. We'll bring you more analysis as things become clearer.


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