Levatich in line for $2.2 million severance package from Harley

Matt Levatich
Matt Levatich

Former Harley-Davidson chief executive officer Matt Levatich could receive a $2.2 million severance package after stepping down as president and chief executive officer of the Milwaukee-based motorcycle maker.

Harley announced Friday that Levatich would step down as CEO with board member Jochen Zeitz taking over as acting CEO while the company searches for a new leader. Zetiz also become chairman of the board as part of the changes.

In a securities filing on Monday, Harley said Levatich would receive benefits in accordance with the company’s executive severance plan. That plan, according to Harley’s latest proxy statement, includes 24 months of base pay and 18 months continuation of other employee benefits, including life insurance, and medical benefits.

Levatich had a base salary of $1,076,250 in 2018 and the company did not provide any salary increases to its executive officers in 2019, giving him a cash severance of $2,152,500. The other benefits were worth around $65,500 at the end of 2018, according to the company’s latest proxy filing.

Harley also disclosed on Monday that Zeitz will have an annual base salary of $2.5 million. He will also be eligible for a $3 million bonus if his employment continues through the installation a new CEO and a $3 million equity award in the form of restricted stock units that vest one year after being granted.

Despite a base salary more than doubles what Levatich made, the $8.5 million value of Zeitz’s compensation is less than the $9.1 million Levatich made in total compensation in 2018.

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Arthur Thomas
Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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