Harley-Davidson Names New Chief Executive

Motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson Inc. said Monday its chief executive will step down May 1 and will be replaced by an executive from car battery and interiors maker Johnson Controls Inc.

Keith E. Wandell, 59, replaces James L. Ziemer, who is retiring after 40 years at Harley and four years as its CEO.

Wandell is currently president and chief operating officer at Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls, where he has worked the past 21 years. He said some of his first priorities for the job are establishing long-term goals for the 106-year-old company.

“We have to set a course for where we are going to be five years from now, 10 years from now and 20 years from now,” he said in an interview.

Wandell will take over Harley during a challenging time for the motorcycle maker.  Sales of Harleys have been in a slump recently as the tough economy keeps buyers out of dealerships and the credit crisis continues to make it difficult for some customers to get financing.

Just pray he doesn’t take us back to the AMC years.

One Response to “Harley-Davidson Names New Chief Executive”

  1. I hope to GOD it stays American!!!

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