Harley-Davidson President And CEO James Ziemer To Retire In 2009

Harley-Davidson announced today that President and Chief Executive Officer James L. Ziemer has informed the Board of Directors that he intends to retire in 2009, capping a 40-year career with the Company.

The Board of Directors has formed a search committee to review both internal and external candidates. Ziemer will remain in his current role until a new CEO is in place. Harley-Davidson.

12 Responses to “Harley-Davidson President And CEO James Ziemer To Retire In 2009”

  1. 1 Nicker Dec 16th, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    Well, if it was Jimmy’s decision to buy the XR1200 “rights” from some European, perhaps it was time for him to retire….???


  2. 2 Jeff Nicklus Dec 16th, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    I am sure The Motor Company stock prices have nothing to do with “his decision to retire”.

    Over & Out,


  3. 3 chaplain Jim Dec 16th, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    there is a time and place for everything even retirement. I retired 3 years ago and got to even think its oooookkkkk/ha ha

  4. 4 Mike Kiwi Tomas, Kiwi Indian MotorCycles Dec 17th, 2008 at 8:44 am

    The XR1200 rights were purchased from Steve Stortz of Stortz Performance in Ventura Calif. Steve had developed this bike some years ago and I prefer to refer to Harley’s bike as a “Steve Stortz replica”.
    The XR1200 is a nice bike indeed. Chris from Cycle Source magazine was riding one recently and he certainly looked like he was enjoying it.

  5. 5 J Dec 17th, 2008 at 10:16 am

    Smart move- best chance he has to someday get his options and warrants out from under water…… However, won’t exclude him from blame for the inevitable consolidation and/or restructuring looming in HD’s future…..

  6. 6 bobberking Dec 17th, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    i want to be the one just for the pay check


  7. 7 Nicker Dec 17th, 2008 at 6:34 pm


    Sorry Mike, got the “only sold in Europe” confused with “Kit developed in Europe”…… 🙁

    But regarding the XR hoopla, wrong-heads, wrong pipes, wrong intake.

    My point is, on the basis of their owning the original XR1000 already, they could have saved themselves that money by calling this thing something like an “XR12K Tracker.”
    And (again IMHO) there was too much XR-hype for a scooter that had the Wrong Pipes, Wrong Heads, Wrong intake.

    So, now they’ve gotta rationalize the Stortz-kit buyout business case:
    -1- Does it do justice to it’s XR namesake?
    -2- Doe the sales justify the total effort?

    And -BTW- how are these units selling???


  8. 8 FUJI Dec 17th, 2008 at 11:41 pm

    In some circles there is talk going around that Ziemer would make the perfect person for the post of car czar.

    I find this very far sighted.

    Not that he doesn’t understand business but one that he understands the car market is a little far fetched.

    Lee Iacocca would be a far better choice with name recognition. Lee worked his way through the ranks of Ford and saved Chrysler with success and has a degree in engineering to his credit.

  9. 9 harry Dec 18th, 2008 at 4:59 am

    This sounds like a routine thing to me; if I worked somewhere for 40 years, well, I’d want to retire too. Gotta figure he is in his late to mid-60’s. When I’m that age all I want to do is fish, ride my bikes, drink beer and eat at greasy spoons and BBQ joints. Maybe it’s a little naive to think this way but maybe the guy wants to call it a day and nothing more.

  10. 10 raycwheeler Dec 18th, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    Best of luck,

    Enjoy your retirement until a better job offer rears its ugly head .

    Extremely hard to retire if you have lead an active life or are easily bored .

    Whatever your choice might be , enjoy life .


  11. 11 Kenny Price Dec 22nd, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    It’s funny how the CEO retires after such poor performance in the market. It happens in most companies like its a forced retirement. Harley definatly needs new leadership anyway.

  12. 12 George Jun 14th, 2009 at 10:51 am

    Way to go (Butch), James. Your dad would be proud of you. Enjoy the rest of your days. Come to Branson and relax.

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Cyril Huze