Shall we talk President/CEO?

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by chrishdguy, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. chrishdguy

    chrishdguy Member

    So, I didn't see a thread started on this already, so I am sorry if there was. But, I am a little confused. Harley-Davidson has now named a new president/CEO in Keith E. Wandell. This man has publicly came out to say he has a nice background in the automotive market and has never ridden a motorcycle..... EVER. He is now planning on taking the Rider's Edge course and getting a SE Softail Springer. Am I the only one this bothers?? The man to lead on the brand of motorcycling we all love and have a passion for has never ridden a motorcycle in his life?? Am I missing something!!?!
  2. chrishdguy

    chrishdguy Member

    I would agree. I hope he succeeds too. I just don't know about all these people with automotive backgrounds. I don't want to see HD go in that direction. The other thing that I think though is that he should have had some background in being on a HD. I think he should know the passion it is to own and ride one. JMHO.
  3. Clint

    Clint Active Member

    Maybe he'll bring a fresh prospective on how to enlighten non-riders. We that ride already know, those that don't ride need to learn! ;)
  4. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    Harley Davidson was almost managed out of existence in the late '60s (1969) - early '80's (1981) timeframe under the AMF business model. True they had the resources to help HD modernize, but the reputation took a hit. That is when the bikes got such bad reputations for being unreliable and oil sieves. I would hope that any "new blood" brought with them a sense that the key to future success it focusing on providing the BEST product at reasonable prices to the market place, and backing up those products with unparalleled customer service and support. Not sure how much control The MoCo has over the dealerships. There are some major design and manufacturing issues that need to be addressed, but the biggest challenge for the brand is improving the dealerships (IMHO).

  5. GreyGhost

    GreyGhost Member

    Wandell has an excellent reputation within Johnson (my employer) and I think he will do well and give a fresh perspective to MoCo. He is not the type to come in and shake things up, he will spend a great deal of time understanding HD and its markets, plus his financial background will help keep HD on a solid footing, might even get some breaks at the Stealerships making HD more price competitive. As for not one is perfect and the roads in Wisconsin edit - are not great anyway.

    Please read this...
    A Friendly Reminder - Harley Davidson Community
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2009
  6. dangerdan

    dangerdan Junior Member

    "Harley Goldwing"

    Has a nice ring to it.
    I can see now !!

    Harley introduces seatbelts and airbags .
  7. The4opps1

    The4opps1 Junior Member

    I could be wrong, but IMO solid business acumen and a feel for the current business environment are more important than someone being able to ride a motorcycle. Give the guy credit, he seems to recognize that experiencing the thrill of the wind in one's face is somewhat important to him appreciating the MoCo more, and he's doing something about that lack of experience. Hopefully, his leadership will pay dividends down the road...
  8. gasbag

    gasbag Active Member

    How many people helped build the space shuttle and been to space in it??
    He needs people skills, management skills and good business sense. I wish him all the best. He could be exactly what the company needs.
  9. chrishdguy

    chrishdguy Member

    Well, maybe I am wrong, those are all valid points. I do hope the guy succeeds, I really do. I just hope it doesn't go backwards before it goes forwards.
  10. TXMikey

    TXMikey Junior Member

    It seems the current mind-set in corporate management these days is that you need to have good leadership qualities, and not necessarily have the technical background to understand what your staff knows/does. If he surrounds himself with a leadership team that knows the motorcycle industry, this could be a very good move.

    I wish Mr. Wandell well, and hope he makes a positive impact on the MOCO. A little "fresh blood" can always be a good thing.