Harley shakes up leadership, puts Italian in charge of MV Agusta

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Harley_Ronald_Reagan.jpgPhoto: Harley-Davidson Archives

Keith E. Wandell, formerly of Johnson Controls, has been named President and CEO of Harley-Davidson, Inc.; Matt Levatich has returned from running MV Agusta to become Harley-Davidson Motor Company President and COO; and 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.
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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.

Harley-Davidson

  • Isaac Chavira

    All I care about is that they make a NEW F4. Preferably a 600cc and a 1000cc.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      I’d settle for a nice 750cc triple.

  • Elux Troxl

    I stopped by a large HD/Buell megastore a few months ago and asked them if they were going to start selling MVs. The sales manager asked me: “What’s an MV?”

    Oh well.

    • Knuckles

      Oh man. That’s hilarious AND sad at the same time. I think I am going to try that at my local HD dealer.

  • Poppa Wheelie

    Great to see two American Heros again. Vaughn Beales and the rest of the Harley Employees, saved the Motor Company from oblivion when they took the reigns from AMF in 1981. Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United , saved the World.
    We could do with two more like these today.

    • thomashenny

      Give the black man a chance you closeted racist. Who gives a shit about 1981? There is only the NOW.

  • Sid

    Reagan helped do away with the Fairness Doctrine, which paved the way for “news” stations like Fox and Rush Limbaugh.

    He helped bring the Cold War to an end, but it could be argued that the end result of doing away with the Fairness Doctrine closed a lot of minds.

    • Oscar

      Absolutely! All news sources must remain in exclusive control of the political left wing. No dissenting views should ever be allowed!

      • Generic1776

        Silence your opposition, standard operating procedure in Italy. See: Berlusconi threatens news blackout after reports of latest gaffes

        “Freedom of the press” for a publication to publish any view point it wants without being controlled by the gov is a unique feature in the U. S. of A.

        Even the UK does not enjoy these freedoms.

        —-

        Back on topic:

        Looking up Levatich’s impact on MV, I can not find any ingenuity that happened under his watch. From his CV on Forbes, it seems like he is just a HD company man with his biggest contribution being the CVO line of parts/vehicles.

        If I had to pick between CVO or Arlen Ness, at Victory, the Ness stuff is more “custom” but CVO is available in every major city across the US. So HD is more like the “Starbucks” of custom, you can get it anywhere, but it isn’t necessarily the best.

  • v

    apparently D’Onofrio did a decent job of running the financial side of ducati while he was in charge..i think(hope) that he will do a good job

  • Aeolus

    With the average of Harley riders a tad under 50, H-D thinks it’s got another 15 years of customers left. A lot like Caddy, that woke up one mooring to find its loyal clientele in nursing homes. The weird thing is to go into a dealership and find more clothes than bikes (before the great bust anyway), clothes that in their inception, were the sole province of the scrounges of society. What to do. A new mystic is needed. I propose the McQueen look with Brit scramblers and vintage off-road gear.McQueen is the King of Cool. Marlon who?