Harley-Davidson has appointed Jochen Zeitz as its new President and Chief Executive Officer. The company was looking for a permanent replacement for Zeitz’s predecessor Levatich, who unexpectedly left Harley-Davidson in February. Jochen Zeitz had been Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Harley-Davidson since 2007, making him the first European to make it to this position.
“As the uncertainty surrounding the COVID 19 crisis and recovery continues, and in light of the significant changes required in the Company, the consolidation of Jochen as CEO demonstrates both the Board’s confidence in him and Jochen’s commitment to leading the Company through this extraordinary period,” said Thomas Linebarger, Board member and Chairman.
In the first quarter he had already launched the Rewire business plan with even clearer details, which he now wants to expand to a 5-year plan. The business plan is to replace the previous “More Roads” plan. According to Zeitz, he wants to further expand Harley-Davidson’s reputation and make it one of the most revered and iconic brands in the world.
Zeitz was chairman and CEO of Puma from 1993 to 2011. He was 30 years old when he started in this position, which made him the youngest CEO of a listed company in Germany at that time. Zeitz has been credited with helping to transform Puma from a struggling company into the fourth largest sportswear brand in the world.
As Puma’s CEO, Zeitz stood up to brands such as Nike, Reebok and Adidas and helped the ailing Puma Group to regain its firm place among the top 4 sportswear manufacturers. He achieved this mainly by focusing on colour, line and style instead of competing with other competitors in the areas of performance and sportiness. This strategy certainly fits well with the cult brand Harley-Davidson to focus again on the core strengths of the company – the incomparable Lifestyle