Harley-Davidson CEO Matthew Levatich is leaving the struggling motorcycle maker.
Matthew Levatich has stepped down as President, CEO and as a member of the Board of Directors of Milwaukee-born Harley-Davidson, a role he took on since May 2015.
Through a statement, the company announced that Levatich will assist with the transition through the end of March while the Board of Directors appoints current Board member Jochen Zeitz as Acting President and CEO. A committee of the Board will be formed and the Company will utilize an external search firm to undertake a search for a new CEO. The announcement will be made soon.
“I am very fortunate to have spent many years with a company as revered as Harley-Davidson. The grit and determination of the employees and dealers and their passion for bringing our brand of freedom to people around the world has always been inspiring. I am proud of what we have achieved during my time as CEO, in one of the most challenging periods in our history, and I am confident that the progress we have made on the More Roads plan will position Harley-Davidson for long-term success,” said Matthew Levatich.
A challenging role
Reporting from Erik Shilling at Jalopnik reads that being CEO of Harley in 2020 might be an impossible job, as its base demographic of customers—baby boomers—age out and as millennials largely reject motorcycles, especially the big, expensive, and heavy ones that are Harley’s bread and butter.
A 2017 report from Forbes states that Harley will never get its old mojo back for one critical reason that is completely outside of its control: demographics, as Harley-Davidson is a brand whose sales depend disproportionately — almost exclusively, in fact — on middle-aged Caucasian males.