Photo: 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.
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.