Saturday, April 11, 2009

New Harley-Davidson CEO Doesn't Own a Harley

Rick Barrett, reporting on JSOnline today, reveals that the new CEO of the Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Keith Wandell, doesn't even own a Harley and is also an outsider. He comes from Johnson Controls. Here's an excerpt:

    "Wandell doesn't own a Harley yet, a fact that startled some bikers when his appointment was announced last week. They're used to seeing the company's top executives clad in leather, riding the shiniest Fat Boy and Ultra Glide Classic machines.

    But that doesn't matter much to Wall Street analysts who follow the company's fortunes.

    Wandell will be surrounded by people who ride Harleys, and die-hard motorcyclists wouldn't abandon the brand even if the CEO never became a rider." -- Rick Barrett, Journal Sentinel

What does all this mean? It means that Wandell, who takes the reins on May 1, will be running Harley-Davidson using the same business principles used for any other company. The fact that their products are motorcycles should make no difference. Or will it?

Read the complete article here.