Harley-Davidson COO Michelle Kumbier leaving company

Original story published March 31, 2020 by biztimes.com


Michelle Kumbier, chief operating officer of Harley-Davidson Motor Co., will leave her role with the company on April 3, the Milwaukee-based motorcycle maker disclosed in a securities filing Monday.

Kumbier is the second top executive to leave the company this year. At the end of February, now former chief executive officer Matt Levatich agreed to step down from his role. He was replaced by acting CEO Jochen Zeitz, a director on Harley’s board since 2007.

A Harley-Davidson spokesperson declined to comment on the departure beyond what the company disclosed in its filing.

Kumbier had been COO since 2017 and joined the company in 1997. From 2015 to 2017 she was senior vice president, Motor Company product and operations. From 2012 to 2015 she was SVP of motorcycle operations and was SVP for product development from 2010 to 2012.

In February 2019, Harley awarded Kumbier 20,000 restricted stock units with a grant date fair value of $733,000. The award was “in recognition of her continued strong performance and to provide a greater retention incentive … given the importance of new products and stronger dealers.”

The award was scheduled to vest after three years, but required that Kumbier still be an active employee with the company to receive it. She could still receive a roughly $1.38 million severance package depending on the terms of her departure.

In a securities filing, Harley said Bryan Niketh, vice president of product development, will be promoted to senior vice president of product and operations and assume Kumbier’s responsibilities in those areas.

Zeitz will oversee the global sales operations on an interim basis until a leader is appointed for that area.

The company also announced the promotion of Paul Krause from assistant general counsel to chief legal officer, chief compliance officer and secretary for Harley-Davidson Inc. Krause joined Harley in 2016. He has served as interim chief legal officer since November, when Paul Jones left the company.

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