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Harley-Davidson Ousts CFO, Plans To Lay Off 13% Staff As Part Of 'The Rewire' Plan

Harley-Davidson Ousts CFO, Plans To Lay Off 13% Staff As Part Of 'The Rewire' Plan

Harley-Davidson Inc (NYSE: HOG) on Thursday announced it would cut nearly 700 jobs in an effort to “rewire” the company.

What Happened

In a statement, the heavyweight-motorcycle manufacturer said it expects about 500 of these employees to exit the organization this year itself, including through layoffs or other means.

The retrenchments are a part of a wider restructuring effort, which Harley-Davidson estimates would cost them about $42 million in the second quarter this year alone.

"Our new operating model is simpler, more focused and enables faster decisions across the entire company,” recently-appointed Harley-Davidson Chief Executive Officer Jochen Zeitz said in the statement.

Harley-Davidson also announced that its Chief Financial Officer John Olin has left his role, and the current Treasurer, Darrell Thomas, will assume duties as interim CFO. 

Why It Matters

Harley-Davidson’s sales in the United States have been falling for years, and Zeitz is going slow on the introduction of new motorcycles aimed at younger riders, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.

The ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is putting further pressure on sales, as is evident from lower production levels at Harley-Davidson’s reopened factories, the Journal noted. 

Earlier this week, Harley-Davidson shares spiked after Citigroup analysts announced a Buy rating on the stock with a $33 price target. 

Price Action

Harley-Davidson shares traded 0.97% higher at $26 in the after-hours session on Thursday. The shares had closed the regular session 0.63% higher at $25.75.


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