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Harley-Davidson Is Cutting Hundreds Of Jobs

Illustration for article titled Harley-Davidson Is Cutting Hundreds Of Jobs
Photo: Getty Images (Getty Images)

Harley-Davidson, which is in the midst of reshaping itself following the ouster of its CEO earlier this year, said today it was eliminating hundreds of jobs at the company in what Harley said was a strategic restructuring.

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That restructuring will cost Harley around $42 million in the second quarter, the company said in a statement today. The restructuring is intended to “get Harley-Davidson on a path to winning,” its CEO, Jochen Zeitz said in a statement. That restructuring will also cost hundreds of people their jobs, including that of its chief financial officer.

Few details beyond that were released.

From Harley’s press release:

Changes have also occurred in the company’s leadership, among them, Chief Financial Officer John Olin has left his role, with current VP Treasurer, Darrell Thomas assuming duties as interim CFO until a successor is appointed. “Significant changes are necessary, and we must move in new directions. I thank John for his commitment during his 17 years with the company and for his leadership during this critical phase of The Rewire,” Zeitz said.

Overall, the streamlined structure requires approximately 700 fewer positions across the company’s global operations with approximately 500 employees expected to exit the organization through 2020.

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Harley also said that it would be introducing more details of the restructuring later this month, when it announces its second-quarter earnings results, but one thing that stuck out to me in its release today was that Harley said that it would be prioritizing “the markets that matter.” Which is Harley’s way of saying that it will double down on America, a U-turn from former CEO Matt Levatich’s plan to focus on overseas markets and smaller bikes.

What I’ll really be interested in seeing is how much Harley sticks to its plan to roll out more electric motorcycles, but I suspect it will for now, since before his ascension to CEO Zeitz was very much behind the LiveWire. Harley said it would release its broader strategic plan for 2021 to 2025 late this year, when we’ll probably know for sure.

News Editor at Jalopnik. 2008 Honda Fit Sport.

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DISCUSSION

ueberall
IstillmissmyXJ

Ultimately I just don’t see a path forward for Harley. The seem to have a tech problem, they seem to have an image problem, they seem to have a demographic problem, they seem to have a dealership elitist problem, and they certainly have leadership problems.

What can they do to fix themselves without metaphorically burning it to the ground and starting over?