Harley appoints chief electric vehicle officer to lead new EV division

Last updated on March 11th, 2021 at 01:34 pm

Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson appointed its first chief electric vehicle officer to lead the its new electric vehicle division, the company announced today. 

Former Bain & Company executive Ryan Morrissey will head the company’s new division of electric motorcycles, which Harley created as part of The Hardwire – a 5-year strategic plan focused on investing in the company’s most profitable motorcycles, expanding into new market segments and investing in the EV market.

At Bain & Company, Morrissey served most recently as senior partner and head of its automotive & mobility practice. In his role, Morrissey led the development of growth, adjacency and M&A strategies for OEMs, tech providers, and retailers specific to the long-range transition to electric vehicles and autonomous fleets, according to a press release.

“Ryan has extensive experience with leading OEMs, working on building businesses to develop, commercialize and support electric vehicles,” Harley-Davidson chairman, president and CEO Jochen Zeitz said in a statement. “I’m excited to have him join the team to help us lead in electric.” 

Zeitz has said a separate EV division will give EV development full autonomy, “freeing the business unit to behave with the same agility and speed as a tech startup while still leveraging the support, expertise and oversight of the broader organization.”

Separate business units for combustion and electric will also present Harley with the ability to “cross pollinate” innovation in each unit, Zeitz previously said in an earnings call. 

Harley launched LiveWire under former CEO Matt Levatich after nearly a decade of development work. The company also hinted at plans for other electric models and released some conceptual designs. Last year, after Zeitz took over as CEO, the Harley-backed Serial 1 Cycle CO. unveiled its first lineup of eBicycles.

“As we announced in February as part of The Hardwire, we’ll be talking more about our electric strategy later in the year,” Zeitz said in a statement.

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